Sponsored by Kachemak Bay Birders and Kachemak Bay Conservation Society

Join us for our third annual community science sea duck survey! Kachemak Bay in the early spring is so beautiful. Come out and enjoy it with us and celebrate these wonderful creatures.

The primary objective of our volunteer-powered survey is to gather enough consistent observation of overwintering sea ducks on the south side of Kachemak Bay to give us population trend lines, or indices. While this objective takes years to achieve, our survey is already starting to be meaningful.

A population index is an important tool to assure population health. While a negative trend may be due to more than hunting pressure, hunting regulations and habitat protections should respond to population declines. While ADF&G managers argue that Pacific Flyway counts are the best way to manage K-Bay sea ducks, we believe local survey are useful because:

  • Sea duck populations have exceedingly high levels of site fidelity--they come back to the same place every year.
  • Many of Alaska’s sea ducks do not go down to the Lower 48 to nest, where Pacific Flyway surveys are conducted. Instead, our birds go up to Alaska's northern boreal forests and deltas to lay their eggs. The Pacific Flyway surveys are not even counting them!
  • Most folks who lived in the Homer area in the 70s and 80s remember many more sea ducks than we see nowadays. We can’t get ADF&G to manage for the recovery of the populations that crashed in the 90s, because there is not enough local documentation. We don’t want to see shifting baseline syndrome strike again if there is another decline.
  • Sea ducks don’t reproduce until they are 2-3 years old, and they generally only lay one clutch per year, which makes them slow to recover from over-harvest, unlike other “small game.”

If you're interested in joining, please give us a heads up, so we can assign you to a boat and survey team.

Event is cancelled until further notice

12:00 pm
February 25, 2023

Homer Harbor Boat Launch

Third Annual Kachemak Bay Sea Duck Survey

Saturday, February 25, 2023