Herd size probably double what it should be, say biologists, who hope to see some serious hunting efforts happen soon.
After three poor winters, the herd of caribou on the Nushagak Peninsula has grown to an estimated 1400 animals. Managers say that is probably double the optimal size for that habitat, and there is concern that the herd will crash or migrate elsewhere in the next couple of years if it nothing changes. Stakeholders met this week to look at various options, including extending the spring hunt for two additional weeks, increasing the bag limit, allowing same-day airborne hunting, and, most controversially, opening up the hunt to all Alaska residents. Find more information here.
Pat Walsh, the lead biologist at the Togiak NWR, joined KDLG's Dave Bendinger on this week's Bristol Bay and Beyond to talk more about this. Listen to that interview here.