Beluga Whale and Other Marine Mammal Occurrence in Upper Cook Inlet between Point Campbell and Fire Island, Alaska August – November 2011 and April – July 2012
The occurrence of beluga whales and other marine mammals in Upper Cook Inlet between the mainland and Fire Island.
Land-based observations were conducted from August 3 to November 15, 2011 and again from April 2 to July 31, 2012 to document the occurrence of beluga whales and other marine mammals in Upper Cook Inlet between the mainland and Fire Island for Cook Inlet Regional Corporation (CIRI). The April through November study period coincided with the time most of the beluga population inhabits the Upper Inlet; the population winters in the mid-Inlet. Visual observations aided by binoculars were conducted by experienced observers every day from sunrise to sunset from a promontory located about 82 m (269 ft) above the water at Point Campbell in Kincaid Park, Anchorage, Alaska. The site provided observers a 260º view of the study area. The study area is bounded by Turnagain Arm to the south and Knik Arm to the north. Fire Island is about 5.5 km (3.4 mi) from Point Campbell. The study area is tidally influenced with most of it becoming exposed mudflats during low stages of the daily tidal cycle