Daily Archives: February 7, 2018

Yakutat Land Sale Update

OK…  The Borough Manager wanted me to update everyone on the status…  The Borough Assembly had a work session this week to fix some issues regarding the new land sale.  This applies to the posting:

Yakutat Land for Sale

As I mentioned in the original posting,  one of the nine lots was donated to the local Humane Society that went out of business.  The city has taken this one off the table for now,  until they can reincorporate the HS and give the property back to the city.

There are two lots up around Post Office Lake that will be available “over-the-counter” at the city office,  but apparently the assembly has to approve a new ordinance for just these two lots.  Hopefully that will happen soon.  They have road access,  but not utilities and you’d have to bare the cost of hooking up to city water and sewer and AVEC power.

Then there are 6 lots down in the “Old Village” area…  Originally the city did not intend to put in road access or utilities,  but at the work session,  the assembly decided to pay the cost of putting in all these things and rolling those costs into the sale price.  Otherwise,  these lots really wouldn’t have had much value to anyone except for the people with adjacent property as a way of expanding the size of their existing lot.  Now,  they will all be buildable and usable by anyone,  thus more valuable.

And the city is rewriting the ordinances to be clear the city can and will finance the purchase of the land as well as the utility services cost.  The rate is 8%,  so a bank loan is probably going to be cheaper,  but the city financing doesn’t require any down payment,  or any significant credit check.  Heck,  if you have bad credit and default,  the city takes the land back,  sells it to someone else and keeps what you paid into it.  Pretty low-risk for the city…  But allows anyone to be able to afford a land purchase regardless of credit history,  age and anything else that could be an obstacle for getting a bank loan.

Who wants to be a real estate tycoon in the World’s Largest City (by area)?

Forecasting the 2018 Steelhead Season

It is another weird winter in Yakutat.  Our November fall run was a bust because it got so cold so quickly the river froze up.  Then it warmed and we were hit by pretty big flooding in December.  Throughout late December and January,  we have had a little snow,  followed by a LOT of rain,  followed by this latest long dry very cold spell.

Looking out the hangar windows,  there is virtually no snow to be seen anywhere (unless you call the 1/2 inch we had yesterday “snow”.  I don’t.  Other than that light dusting,  there isn’t ANY snow in the forest.  Come spring (which is fast approaching),  any rain we see won’t be trickling through a snowbank and cooling the water in the river.  The Situk is going to warm up quickly once it starts.

Looking at the water gage at 9 Mile,  the flow is still not functional due to ice,  but yesterday and today’s slightly above freezing with a light rain popped the water temp up from frozen 32 degrees to 37.  That’s a pretty big jump considering the air temp is only 34F here at the airport.

So…  although the lakes are frozen thick and the river is still mostly ice,  I am expecting the Situk to warm up quickly and early,  drawing the spring run in early.  Probably not so early as we saw two years ago,  but at least a week or two.  We’re heading back into another cold-dry spell,  so we will have thick lake ice keeping the winter fish trapped in the lake later than normal.  So I figure we’ll see the spring fish in early and the winter fish out of the lake late by at least a couple weeks.

If things hold as they are now,  expect the spring run to start in around the last week of March and peak in mid-April,  trailing off before we reach May.  Then the winter fish will flush out of the lake toward the end of April and be throughout the river into the first couple weeks of May.  So the timing of the two runs are backwards…

And of course the disclaimer…  We are in early February right now.  We could get hit by some mega-snow storm that puts enough snow on the banks to keep the water cooler and delay the spring run.  If that happens,  the winter fish are still going to be late.

And it is still “fishing”…  So it’ll do what it does.  But any fear of the run being EXTREMELY early like 2016 isn’t likely.  We were fishing and catching chrome-bright spring fish throughout February that year and that is NOT happening now.