While all fishing for kings on the Kenai River is officially over, that doesn’t mean your summer angling adventures are finished. Reports trickling in from the Kenai indicate sockeyes have finally returned to the river, and counts are looking pretty good.
The Kasilof, lower rivers of the Peninsula and the offshore fishery north of Bluff Point are also closed to kings, so keep your hands off.
Any king salmon caught accidently must not even be brought to the surface before being immediately released. Yes, even catch and release is illegal at this point.
But take heed. Anglers have reported promising results downstream from the outlet of Skilak Lake, as well as the middle and lower Kenai, with a few 10-pound sockeyes pulled from the river this weekend. Fishing is reportedly improving, with bigger fish showing up in the late runs.
• Snow levels remain around 1,500-1,800 feet, and snowshoes are still recommended for higher elevations. Crews continue clearing trails, but expect numerous downed trees on most trails, as well as wet, muddy conditions. • Trails are still rough. Consider adding 1/3 to your average hiking time. • Practice “Leave no Trace” etiquette, and pack out [...]
Sandhill Cranes are ground nesters, building their nests primarily in wetlands, but also in upland grassy areas. Cranes create a nest from whatever plants are available. In the Homer area, cranes use both wetlands and upland areas. Known nests consist primarily of grasses and sedges. When the cranes return in the spring, the grasses and sedges are dull brown in color, offering cranes sufficient camouflage to help prevent detection from predators. Cranes often paint their feathers with mud to help them blend in with surrounding vegetation.
by Kachemak Crane Watch • Is it OK to feed corn to sandhill cranes? First, people should not hand-feed wild animals. A sandhill crane carries a dangerous weapon—its roughly four-inch beak. If you have small children or small pets, keep them away from cranes as they can become aggressive if bothered. Scattering a small amount of [...]
Motorists along College Loop Road typically have to keep their eyes peeled for a moose just around the bend, but it was an entirely different hoofed animal that motorists saw moving en masse down the curvy road Sunday during the Soldotna Equestrian Association’s second annual cattle drive.
The SEA roped in even more riders than the inaugural event in 2011, and had roughly four horseback riders to every cow in the herd of a dozen animals, which also included a feisty young bull and two wide-eyed calves that stuck tightly to their mothers’ sides. The riders themselves were an equally diverse group, varying in age from 8 to 65, and bringing with them an equally expansive range of experience.
The 20th Annual Kachemak Bay Shorebird Festival was broadly attended this year, attracting 1,900 people who registered.
Attendance was up by 9 percent from last year, said organizer Christina Whiting.
Some 80 attendees were Alaskan. Of those 55 percent came from Homer, 35 percent from Anchorage, and others came from Seward, Fairbanks, Kenai/Soldotna, Trapper Creek and Talkeetna.
The furthest-attending was a couple who traveled from Australia and another pair from England. A caravan of birders from Texas/Mexico came to Alaska just for this festival, Whiting said.
“Our core group continues to come every year, which I think speaks volumes. I don’t quite know what it means. They are coming back taking the same walks with the same guides year after year,” Whiting said. “To me that says we have a solid program that people enjoy.”
Hydrologists from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service report high snow pack in Alaska, to no surprise to Alaskans, but the extent of record breaking snows could be alarming.
Snow survey data, gathered from SNOTEL and snow course sites, is used to forecast river flow volume, breakup flooding potential, avalanche danger, summer forest fire probability, and fresh water availability for municipalities and power generation. And, don’t forget that salmon fishing is directly affected by high water – when the rivers run high, the tendency is for the fish to migrate in higher concentrations, meaning shorter, faster runs. Snow survey information also contributes to calculating winter severity with respect to wildlife survival.
A close cousin to the ski bum, the dirtbag is the guy so dedicated to climbing that next pitch, he will literally sleep in the dirt at the base of a wall to get the glory of the sunrise start.
Homer Wilderness Leaders celebrates that spirit of dedication to wilderness adventure by honoring the DiRtBaG. We do it by offering discount rates to the boys and girls (DiRtBaG) to help local kids raise money to fund their wilderness expeditions over the summer.
HoWL has been taking kids across Kachemak Bay and through the mountains, lakes, rivers and beaches of the Kenai Peninsula since 2009. HoWL’s mission is to provide outdoor experiential education to young people in Alaska.
And they do so with gusto.
After stumbling onto a few innocent flyers posted around town, Homer resident Pete Fineo finally decided to bite the bullet and schedule an excursion across the Kachemak Bay to hike out to the face of Grewingk Glacier.
“It’s something I’ve had on my bucket list for about four years now,” Fineo explained. “I figured I live in a state with so many glaciers, I ought to see at least one of them.”
Fineo is no stranger to hiking, having tackled a 2,000-mile trek along the Appalachian Trail. Yet, he was eager to explore the remote, snow-covered expanse across the Bay, and contacted George Reising of Halibut Cove Adventures to see about setting up a hike.
A former financial engineer and mortgage banker hailing from Lower 48 metropolises like Pittsburgh and Seattle, Reising began finding his work less than satisfying and decided to try something different.
Arrival of the Sandhill Cranes is one of the sure signs that spring is here. It is a Homer spring ritual to eagerly await and greet these majestic birds that have flown over 3000 miles from California’s Central Valley to return to their nesting grounds in Homer.