Trail crews brave rugged conditions, curious wildlife across Bay

Across the Bay in Kachemak Bay State Park, nature enthusiasts and avid hikers may occasionally hear the distant whirring of a chainsaw. While certainly out of place in the local slice of pristine wilderness, the faint sounds of power tools signify another living presence in the park.
This is the active call of the Kachemak Bay Trail Crew.
Kachemak Bay State Wilderness Park consists of 400,000 acres of wilderness located directly across Kachemak Bay from Homer. Within the park, the land maintained by the Alaska State Parks is a smaller slice of the entirety, known as Kachemak Bay State Park.

Slammin’ salmon: scores of sockeyes stampede the Kenai


Hear that?
That, my friend, is the deafening roar of 2.3 million sockeye salmon stampeding through the mouth of Kenai River.
Or perhaps it’s the din of Anchorage and Valley-based dip netters motoring their way south for a chance to get in on the big haul.
Maybe it’s both.

Stay on top of changes in fishing regs

Some things, you just don’t mess around with.
If you’ve learned anything about Alaska angling, you should know by now that we take our fish very seriously. Plenty of fishing changes are popping up all over the Kenai Peninsula to protect future runs, so now is a good time to stay on top of just what regulations are currently in effect.
The federal subsistence fishery for Chinook salmon in the Kenai River downstream from the outlet of Skilak Lake will remain closed through 11:59 p.m., Aug. 15. This extends the current closure and prohibits all subsistence fishing for Chinook salmon, including both dip net and rod and reel fisheries.

Halibut Derby sees lead change

The new 182.5-pound derby leader got to keep his name up on the leader board for only one day before Christopher Johnson’s 197.6-pound flatfish knocked him right on off.
Johnson, of Fort Collins, Colo. was fishing with Captain Scott Glosser on Friday when he landed his leader fish.
In the tagged fish side of halibut fishing action, another 11 anglers pulled in tagged catches, each vying for a shot at the GCI $50,000 fish or the Stanley Ford F-150 fish. Some would be happy enough to just reel in one of the $10,000 tagged fish that continue to lurk in the Bay.
The winners will be announced on Sept. 16, but the least these anglers will win is $250.
That’s not bad for one day of fishing.

Last surviving EVOS sea otter euthanized

The last remaining sea otter known to have survived the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska was euthanized at Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium on Monday.
Homer, believed to be 25, went on to live an unusually long life after the Valdez disaster. A sea otter’s typical lifespan is 15 to 25 years.

Kenai River re-opens for late-run kings

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Division of Sport Fish, announced on Monday that the Kenai River Sport Fishery will re-open for late-run king salmon, but the use of bait and multiple hooks is prohibited.
This regulation is in effect for the Kenai River, from its mouth upstream to Skilak Lake, and in the Moose River from its confluence with the Kenai River upstream to the northernmost edge of the Sterling Highway Bridge.

Safety first, then beautification for Old Town

Before proceeding with the construction of the proposed “People’s Garden” envisioned by the activists, called “Old Town Neighbors,” working on the renovation of Old Town, the city is being asked to do some work to improve safety.
The Old Town renewal team recently met with representatives of the Homer Planning and Public Works departments to discuss these needs. The goals for East Bunnell Avenue and Beluga Place include installing speed bumps on the roads to slow traffic, widening the pavement on both streets and adjusting the traffic lanes to provide for bike and pedestrian paths on the south and west sides of the streets, adding three crosswalks and necessary signage for bikes and walkers, and paving the parking area and painting parking slots at Bishop’s Beach.

ADF&G imposes early king salmon restrictions on Lower Cook Inlet waters

Last Thursday, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Division of Sportfish announced early restrictions for the 2013 king salmon season. A press release from Assistant Area Management Biologist Carol Kerkvliet indicated that sport-fishing in Lower Cook Inlet stream and marine waters would be, “managed conservatively during the 2013 season.” The release noted that the […]

Sandhill cranes return for another breeding season

The distinctive clarion call of sandhill cranes will soon echo around the skies of Homer as we welcome their arrival to begin another breeding season. Some cranes begin nesting shortly after arrival, while others may display elaborate pair bonding rituals and dances waiting up to a month to begin nesting.
Kachemak Crane Watch and the International Crane Foundation will be completing the final year of their three-year sandhill crane nesting ecology study.

Homer Bike Fest: What’s the big fat deal?

What do fatbikes, bonfires and a three-foot squid have in common?
Absolutely nothing.
Unless, of course, you were part of Homer Cycling Club’s Big Fat Bike Festival over the weekend.
Pumped full of nearly 60 riders from across the state, the 2013 version of Homer’s low-pressure weekend came complete with perfect weather, incredible beach-riding, a wicked beach obstacle course, plenty of brew — and a mascot.

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