Rugh, David J. and Shelden, Kim E. W. and Mahoney, Barbara A. (2000) Distribution of Belugas, Delphinapterus leucas, in Cook Inlet, Alaska, During June/July 1993–2000. Marine Fisheries Review, 62(3), pp. 6-21.
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Aerial surveys of belugas, Delphinapterus leucas, in Cook Inlet wre flown each year during June and/or July from 1993 to 2000. This project was designed to delineate distribution and collect aerial counts, elements critical to the managment of this small, isolated stock that was subjected to a persistent harvest by Native hunters. The surveys provided a thorough, annual coverage of the coastal areas of the inlet (1,300 km of shoreline) and included roughly 1,000 km of offshore transects annually. Coastal transects were flown 1.4 km from the waterline, thus surveying most of the area within 3 km of shore. These, along with offshore transects, provided annual systematic searches of 13-33% of the entire inlet. The largest concentration of belugas (151-288 whales by aerial count) was in the northern portion of upper Cook Inlet in the Susitna River Delta and/or in Knik Arm. Another concentration (17-49 whales) was consistently found between Chickaloon River and Point Possession. Smaller groups (generally <20 whales) were occasionally found in Turn-again Arm, Kachemak Bay, Redoubt Bay (Big River), and Trading Bay (McArthur River) prior to 1995 but not thereafter. Over the past three decades, summer distribution has shrunk such that sightings now only rarely occur in lower Cook Inlet and in offshore areas. In the 1990's, most (96-100%) of the sightings were concentrated in a few dense groups in shallow areas near river mouths in upper Cook Inlet.
|Title:||Distribution of Belugas, Delphinapterus leucas, in Cook Inlet, Alaska, During June/July 1993–2000|
|Journal or Publication Title:||Marine Fisheries Review|
|Page Range:||pp. 6-21|
|Issuing Agency:||United States National Marine Fisheries Service|
|Depositing User:||Patti M. Marraro|
|Date Deposited:||16 Aug 2012 14:32|
|Last Modified:||16 Aug 2012 14:32|
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