Deep water conditions in Icy Straits

Partnering with local fishermen, the University of Alaska has started monitoring deep water ocean conditions of Southeast Alaska including Icy Straits . Data from the last three months is shown above. Temperature and salinity levels recorded to depths greater than 80fathoms (480feet) off Outer Point. The blue line is March, then April, and finally the purple and yellow represent a dual cast from the end of May. As expected, moving into summer there is a noticeable increase in temperature range from the surface down. We can also see salinity, salt levels, are higher at depth, giving us an idea of seasonal rates of snow melt and fresh water run off.

Continuing to conduct castings will allow us to generate a heatmap showing ocean conditions throughout the year. This data is critical in identifying and mitigating problems stemming from a changing, warming, ocean. Marine life, including many species we rely on for subsistence needs, are highly susceptible to temperature fluctuations. Fishermen throughout Southeast Alaska have been assigned to specific locations to collect this data. So far all of Southeast is showing the same trends.

-Jackson

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