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Galley Tables

Apr 19 2010
Locals Pen New Field Guide to Alaska's Sea Creatures PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 19 April 2010

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            Two Kodiak women who've worked for over 40 combined years at the Alaska Department of Fish and Game have just published a new book about the many creatures living in Alaska waters. "A Field Guide to Common Marine Fishes and Invertebrates of Alaska," was written by Suzie Byersdorfer and Leslie Watson, and published by the Alaska Sea Grant Program of the University of Alaska Fairbanks.


            Watson retired from Fish and Game last year after more than 25 years, and Byersdorfer will retire this summer after about 20 years with the department.

            Byersdorfer said there are about 400 species in the book, which is twice as thick as the Kodiak phone book, but there are many other fish in the sea:


--          (Fish 1             22 sec              "These are the common ... plenty that we don't find.")


            Each entry is represented by up to three pictures, mostly taken by Byersdorfer, and are reproduced in full color:


--          (Fish 2             50 sec              "Been working on collecting ... not by a lot, but a little bit.")


            Watson said Byersdorfer started the project to help them out while at sea doing marine surveys:


--          (Fish 3             29 sec              "It was something that ... how it came to be.")


            The book is already being used as a college-level text in one class at the University of Alaska Southeast, and Watson says other professors will likely use it the same way. She said she and Byersdorfer had a lot of help in completing the project:


--          (Fish 4             28 sec              "It's very unreal ... a lot of people's hard work.")


            Watson says the guidebook will be useful for both scientists and amateurs, and could come in especially handy on fishing boats to identify unfamiliar species. It's available locally at The Next Page where Watson and Byersdorfer were interviewed this weekend during a book signing there. The two will be giving a presentation this Saturday at the Kodiak Refuge Visitor Center from 2:30 to 4 p.m.



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