It is once again stormy and nasty up here, after a two-day sun break, which followed a week of back-to-back storms. This latest round is supposed to be intense, but die off quickly tomorrow. The rain started at 2am and the wind hit around 5am. Not a fun day to be outside.
Flows on the 4th topped 1,600 CFS, dropped to 1,100, back up to over 1,300 and then yesterday bottomed out around 800. So the Situk is basically unfishable right now. The commercial season ended on Thursday, with the big “fishermen’s party” at the Glass Door Friday night. Our salmon season is coming to an end for 2017.
Still some fresh silvers coming into the Situk system, but with the water the way it is, you’d be hard pressed to make contact with one of them. Tawah is where most of the late season sport fishermen are concentrating, while the outlying fly-outs like the Italio are still going strong. Chris comes back from his season on the Akwe tomorrow, so I’ll get his impression of what that run looked like and whether it is still going on. I bet the Akwe is raging though, regardless of how many fish may be in there!
And I’m doing much better with a little more energy each day. It has nearly been a month, so I’m beyond frustrated with not being able to do much. So many things I need to get done, but so little resources to make it through the day without a nap, or some “quality time” sitting on my butt.
But I’m not the only one on the mend right now… This happened over a week ago, but thought I’d share… A juvenile bald eagle was found with his leg caught in an old abandoned trap out in Russell Fiord. “Frustrating” that we have a trapper, who doesn’t retrieve his traps at the end of the season, or at least trip them… So the eagle was found with a broken leg and the folks at the Forest Service went in and pulled him out.
He was shipped off to Anchorage on ACE Air Cargo, along with about 5,000lbs of fresh coho salmon… Probably not the nicest cargo for a hungry and injured eagle to have to smell for the whole flight, but that was the first available flight out. Hopefully he is healing and can be released at some point.
This is a time of year when we have to be careful driving around the airport and out toward Cannon Beach. With all the salmon spawning in the man-made drainage ditches around the airport, you have dozens of eagles sitting on the shoulder and/or in the middle of the road where they drag fish out of the water and onto dry land to feast. Tawah’s January/February silver run can be a tremendous attraction for the eagles with little to no food for them to get through the dark and snowy winter. You’ll see horrific scenes of blood all over the snow till you realize it wasn’t a dog getting hit by a car, but a big salmon smashed and splattered all over the place.
Ahhh… life in Yakutat.
Loading the cargo into the ACE Beech 1900… Fish first, then putting the bird in behind the net. I didn’t hear what happened to him after he departed YAK, but hopefully he will survive the ordeal. Thank you to the Swansons for helping this guy out and helping load him. Not that he weighed much… They are amazingly light. I still wasn’t being allowed to lift anything by orders of my wife. I hate just standing around watching other people work.