17 December 2012

October Trout

It was got damn cold out but with no trips on the board, might as well go fishing.

25 September 2012

This, from AK State Parks

Closure of Kenai River Special Management Area to all boating traffic
(Soldotna, AK) – The Kenai River Special Management Area is temporarily closed to all boating traffic, effective Monday, September 24, 2012 at 1:00 pm.

Recent heavy rainfall has created flooding conditions within the Kenai River watershed.

“Alaska State Parks has been monitoring water conditions along the Kenai River”, said State Parks Director Ben Ellis. “Based on current high water levels and forecast hydrology levels, this closure is necessary to protect public safety by prohibiting any boating on the Kenai River. In addition, it will protect property and habitat that may be damaged by boat wakes”, said Ellis.

This closure does not include the waters of Skilak and Kenai Lakes. The closure will remain in effect until the Director has determined flood levels have receded to a point where the risk to public safety, property, and habitat has diminished to an acceptable level.

Local News Here:  http://www.ktuu.com/news/ktuu-kenai-borough-braces-for-flood-crest-on-tuesday-20120924,0,7241098.story

21 September 2012

Official Flood Stages

With 2 "uncommonly severe" storms in the past week dumping inches upon inches of water on the Kenai Peninsula our days of low and clear flows are over.  We're approaching 2 feet over National Weather Service at the head of Kenai River, and the flow has exploded.  See below.

3,100 cfs - 14,300 cfs

A few big kings survive

A few gifts despite hight water 
My kind of dolly

With another system moving up from the south, Seward will get more rain and we will get more water.

14 July 2012

Food for Thought for Food


Salmon Evolve to Cope with Climate Change

Try this on for size (from Scientific) America

Global warming is beginning to drive the timing of salmon migrations
to rising stream temperatures.
Pink salmon populations in Alaska have evolved to migrate earlier in the season, reacting 

Fluctuations in water temperature can adversely affect fish populations, leading to an increased risk of disease and mortality. When streamwater began to warm faster than normal, pink salmon populations took the hint, leaving their freshwater homes earlier than usual.
Now, migration occurs nearly two weeks sooner than it did 40 years ago, according to a study sponsored by the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, and University of Alaska Southeast. The rapid adaptation is a sign that larger organisms can cope with climate change, said David Tallmon, an associate professor of biology and marine biology at UAS and author of the paper.
"It demonstrates evolutionary change in response to warming temperatures," he said. "It provides some hope for species to adapt to changing climate."
The study, published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, looked at pink salmon populations in Auke Creek, analyzing 32 years of genetic data beginning in the 1970s. Scientists examined 17 generations of the salmon, and they sampled five to 30 fish every day during the odd years from 1983 to 1993, plus 2001 and 2011. Their findings show a 20 percent reduction in late-migrating fish, which made up only about 10 percent of the sampled population as of last year.
The switch toward an earlier migration pattern was exceptionally apparent between 1989 and 1993. Stream temperatures during peak migration in 1989 were the second highest on record. From then on, scientists observed substantial genetic changes in the offspring from that spawning generation, the study says.
But evolution isn't always a good thing, because genetic shifts are a give-and-take process. When an organism adopts one positive attribute, another is weakened, potentially reducing the overall fitness of the organism.
An evolutionary impact
Changes in genetic makeup also come at a cost in terms of biocomplexity. The Auke Creek late-migrating salmon populations have all but disappeared in favor of early-migrating salmon. This significantly reduces the genetic variability in the population and would make it difficult for salmon to cope should temperatures reverse.
Pink salmon have adapted so far, Tallmon said, but no one can predict the extent to which they can stretch. It is possible that they will not continue to evolve in the coming decades.
"We may exhaust the ability of these wild populations to adapt -- and stuff hits the fan," Tallmon said.
It's a possibility that could negatively affect local and national fishing industries.
Pink salmon "represents a substantial portion of some fisheries. In southeast Alaska, Prince William Sound and in the Kodiak area, it's a significant part of the commercial fishery catch," said Eric Volk, a fisheries scientist for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. "We're talking about hundreds of millions of pink salmon fry released from hatcheries each year."
While all signs point to climate as a catalyst for evolution, Tallmon cautions against applying his team's findings across the board.
It's unlikely, he said, but this incidence of evolution could be an isolated event. More research is required before scientists can ascertain whether this applies to all pink salmon and not just the ones in Auke Creek. However, that doesn't change the overall message of the study.
"People should be aware that climate change can have evolutionary impacts, and that's something we need to be aware of and measuring," Tallmon said.

27 June 2012

Day Off Day Hike (+)

There area a few hikes around Hope, and with a day off the water there are only three things to do on a day off.  It starts with curing a hangover, then going fishing or for a hike, today there was no hangover to cure so a good long hike was in order.

Gull Rock Trail takes you from the end of the Hope road along Turnagain Arm above the coast.  It's about a 5 hour roundtrip, out and back, ending out on what must only be Gull Rock Point.

The trail shares the first 300 yards or so with the Hope Point Trail, which climbs up the ridge above the town of Hope.

A view across Turnagain Arm, looking north

Leaving the Chugach National Forest, entering the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge
We came around the corner at one point with Canyon 50 yards ahead of me.  I heard a russel in the leaves and then the distinct sounds of claws on a tree, what must only be a bear scampering up.  Sure enough Canyon surprised the bear and within 2.5 seconds the bear was 40 feet up the nearest tree, in 3 second I had the bear spray out, in 4 seconds Canyon was back at  my side and then on the leash.

In other news, rivers across the Kenai are experiencing super high flows.  The Kenai is at 10,300 cfs, nearly 4,000 above the average.