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Freshwater Harbor Seals of Lake Iliamna, Alaska – Do They Pup and Over-Winter in the Lake?

January 01, 2011

2011 Alaska Marine Science Symposium poster on research concluding that seals do pup in the lake and some seals obviously
over-winter there, but it seems unlikely that most seals do.

Lake Iliamna is home to a small colony of harbor seals (Phoca vitulina) that are thought to live there year-round. There are no known accounts of immigration or emigration despite access to Bristol Bay via the Kvichak River (120 km in length).

Local subsistence hunters harvest small numbers of seals in the early spring when seals haul out along cracks and leads of the frozen lake. There is conflicting information, however, regarding when, where, or whether seals pup in the lake.


David Withrow, Kymberly Yano, Jennifer Burns, Courtenay Gomez, and Tatiana Askoak. 

Last updated by Alaska Regional Office on 09/30/2022

Harbor Seal Harbor Seal Research