Most people like to have sunny warm Memorial Days for the BBQs and parades. We are having a wonderful respite from the sun, with overcast and a chance of rain. It has been two weeks since the last real rain drop fell in Yakutat, so ANY overcast is a blessing and some rain will be a delight! Flows right now are hovering at a parched 129 CFS, making it a VERY slow float.
Are there still steelhead? Yep. Quite a few actually, although more than 4,000 have exited through the weir now. 4,253 to be exact. They have also officially counted 2 sockeye through the weir, however a sockeye was caught a week ago by Aaron way upstream. The weir folks admitted that it can be hard to differentiate between a smallish chrome-bright fresh steelhead and a sockeye when they are zipping by the camera. A few more of that 70 incoming steelhead may have been sockeye as well. But…
There have been reports that there are sockeye starting to appear in better numbers in the lower river. I haven’t heard if anyone is subsistence netting down in the estuary yet, but people have been seeing sockeye jumpers out in the bay over the past week or two. I think the sockeye are going to be early too, so be prepared for that and possibly hitting the magic escapement goal for the increased bag limit earlier than normal.
With that said, Gordy, our commercial fishing ADFG biologist said we are expecting a good run of sockeye this year, as all the regions are expecting good runs. Good fishing, but for those of us still dependent on gill-netting for feeding our families through our long Alaskan winter, we’ll be getting a terrible price too.
It is 11pm and I can still see by the light outside. The days are getting longer and soon we won’t really have a night anymore. At least for a few weeks… I have had several more steelheaders send me photos to post and one video, so I’ll get those posted in the next couple days. This is our deathly slow time at the shop, so I’ll try to get back in and get a little construction done on the hangar. Maybe even get the water supply in properly, so when you need to use the bathroom, you can! Cash flow is dead though, so if you have any gear needs, feel free to give me a call and we can get anything Simms and Sage drop-shipped directly to you with no shipping or tax charges… As always…
Yes, we’ll be open tomorrow for most of the way, but I plan to take the family out to the cemetery in the morning. This is Memorial Day and I will make sure my kids understand its meaning. Veterans Day is for all the men and women who serve our country and protect our freedoms. Memorial Day is for those special ones who never get to return to their families and loved ones. 1.3 million Americans have paid that Last Full Measure of Devotion. Never forget them.
Enjoy the BBQ, but take a moment to think about why you have the right to have it. Cherish your freedom and know it comes with tremendous sacrifice.
May they rest in peace and may we find it in their absence.