A wildlife survey that happens annually in the Haines area, hasn’t taken place this year – at least not yet.
Lack of snowfall in the Chilkat Valley is preventing the Alaska Department of Fish and Game from conducting an aerial moose survey.
Biologist Carl Koch estimates around a half dozen times the department hasn’t been able to complete the survey.
He’s hopeful there will eventually be enough snow to do the research this year.
But, Koch says it’s not ideal to survey later in the season. Antlers have dropped, so they can’t calculate a bull-to-cow ratio. It’s also not possible to survey antler configurations or to develop a cow-to-calf ratio.
What they can still get is a minimum moose count, and calculate the percent of calves out of that total.
When the survey was conducted in 2016, biologists counted the highest number of moose in the last 10 years.
In 2014 and 2015, weather also pushed surveys until later in the season.