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Salmon and Blow Flies from Bob Armstrong on Vimeo.

Note: this video on Salmon and Blow Flies in Alaska has narration with it and will be easier to see the various connections.

You can also go to Natural Connections in Alaska

And look at the information on pages 48 and 49 to get some more ideas.

Salmon and Blow Flies in Alaska from Bob Armstrong on Vimeo.

  • This video shows a very tiny caddisfly larva (about 1/4 inch long) that lives on the rock face at Nugget Falls in Juneau, Alaska
  • The caddisfly was discovered a few years ago and the species was new to science.
  • This is (so far) the only place where this species has been documented.
  • 'It creeps about under the flowing water and feeds on biofilm and algae.
  • It decorates its case made of pieces of sand with a piece of algae.
  • What would be some of the advantages for living beneath and near such a roaring waterfall?
  • Perhaps an abundance of food and in an area relatively free of predation.
  • To learn more about these caddisflies go to Aquatic Insects in Alaska -- Major Groups and Caddisflies by John Hudson, Katherine Hocker, Robert H. Armstrong
  • And go to page 32.
  • To learn more about how caddisflies build their cases look at this amazing video

Apatanidd Case Maker Caddisfly at Nugget Falls from Bob Armstrong on Vimeo.

This video shows an adult caddisfly laying its eggs in a rock crevice at Nugget Falls in Juneau, Alaska.

About 134 species of caddisflies have been documented in Alaska.


Caddisfly laying eggs at Nugget Falls from Bob Armstrong on Vimeo

  • These coho salmon are returning to the DIPAC hatchery in Juneau.
  • Some harbor seals are taking advantage of them and even swim up the fish ladder in search of coho.
  • Notice how some seals swim on their back.
  • Why do you think they do this?
  • Think about their ability to see better underwater.
  • Some salmon, desparate to get away from the seals, will even jump on the shore.

Harbor Seals Hunting for Coho Salmon from Bob Armstrong on Vimeo.

  • Often the first coho salmon to return to Alaska's streams are the males.
  • This video shows several males waiting for the females to arrive.
  • If you want to know more about our salmon and wonder where they go in winter check out Salmon in Winter by Bob Armstrong and Marge Hermans

Waiting for Females (Coho) from Bob Armstrong on Vimeo.

  • To understand this video concentrate on the shiny female Dolly Varden on the right.
  • She goes on her side and starts to dig a nest.
  • A colorful male Dolly Varden comes up beside her, vibrates, and then leaves.
  • Partly out of the video on the right a jack coho salmon and cutthroat trout come up on either side of the female Dolly Varden and vibrate in hopes of getting her to spawn.
  • The question: Why would a different species such as coho salmon and cutthroat trout try to stimulate a Dolly Varden to spawn?
  • Note that cutthroat trout are spring spawners. This happened on September 24, 2014 in Steep Creek, Juneau, Alaska.

Coho and Cutthroat courting Dolly Varden from Bob Armstrong on Vimeo.

  • This video shows both male and female Sockeye Salmon in an Alaskan stream getting ready to spawn.
  • How can you tell the females from the males?
  • Think about how you can tell an adult Sockeye Salmon from an adult Coho Salmon. You can look at the video on coho and try to spot the differences.
  • There are also Dolly Varden in this video.

Sockeye Salmon, male and female in spawning coloration from Bob Armstrong on Vimeo.

  • This video shows both male and female Dolly Varden in spawning coloration. How do you tell them apart?
  • It also shows a cutthroat trout. How would you distinguish it from a Dolly Varden not in spawning coloration?
  • Look for the juvenile coho salmon that are in the video.

Dolly Varden Interacting from Bob Armstrong on Vimeo.

  • These dowitchers (a species of shorebird i.e. sandpiper) are feeding heavily in an intertidal slough in Juneau, Alaska.
  • What they are feeding on is a type of amphipod that is tube dwelling.
  • These amphipods have been found to be extremely important food for certain shorebirds, especially during their migration.
  • They can be extremely abundant and an easy food for shorebirds to find.
  • In one study on the Mendenhall Wetlands Willson and Baldwin found a density of Corophium amphipods at roughly 20,000 per square meter.
  • Try to learn how these shorebirds can sense these tiny amphipods at the end of their bill.
  • We discuss the value of tube dwelling amphipods on page 59 of our book on the Mendenhall Wetlands
  • Information on shorebirds in Alaska can be found in The Shorebirds are coming! by Bob Armstrong and Marge Hermans

Dowitchers and Amphipods from Bob Armstrong on Vimeo.