Tag Archives: Yakutat

Warming Up

Chris and Adam hiked up to Situk Lake this week just to see what it was looking like up there.  Thick lake ice,  but water was flowing out from under the shelf at around 50 CFS.  They looked downstream a ways,  but didn’t see any fish in the upper river at all.

This week,  we have seen some warmer weather,  with some mixed rain and snow.  Today is back to gorgeous clear skies with a high air temp just reaching around 33 F at the airport and not quite 31 F at the bridge.  Water temp popped up to 37 degrees and basically stayed up there for 4 days.  That broke the flow gage loose from the ice and is now showing 129 CFS earlier today,  but has dropped back down to 109 this evening as the snow freezes back up and stops flowing into the river.

Chris was supposed to float it today.  It’ll be a long slow drag at 109,  so doubt I’ll hear from him tonight.  But it is looking like the ice has broken out of the river and it is flowing.  Not much flow,  but not desperately low either.  Next change of some rain and/or snow is looking like Wednesday.  Other than an occasional lonely stray,  I doubt there are many fish in the river right now (just too cold still),  but we seem to be trending up a bit and hopefully if we see some real precip,  we’ll have some conditions that may be favorable for landing one or two fresh steelhead early.

I’ll update you if Chris calls in,  but if not…


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.

And… We have MORE Land For Sale!

Back in November,  the City put 9 land lots up for sale and I managed to forget to post the info.  Sorry.  Looks like all of them are still for sale,  so no harm,  no foul.  These are now available “over the counter” at the city offices,  so anyone can just put up the money and they are yours.  Or get the city to finance it at 8% interest…

Prices range from $5,700 to $28,300 depending on size and how far away from the road they are.  6 of the lots do NOT have direct road access (although there is a road on the plat that the city does NOT intend to put in).  Here is the map of the lots.  They are up on Ridge Road,  which is the road between the two churches…

2017 Land Sale Map

If you drive up Ridge Road,  you can see the city water tank on the right edge of the picture,  so you can know where the lots are located…

And here is the full document packet:

2017 Land Sale Packet

Yakutat Land for Sale

At the last Assembly Meeting,  the Assembly voted to approve an ordinance to release some of the city’s land holdings for sale.  They have 9 lots available right now,  although one is going to be tied up for a bit while they clear up the title.  It was donated to the local Humane Society,  but the HS is now defunct and no longer in existence.  So they need to recreate it,  to release the land and then go defunct again…

Here is the ordinance,  which shows prices,  locations and the terms for having the city finance it for you…

CBY land sale 01-18-2019

If you remember last year,  the State of AK Mental Health Trust put up 5 lots near Glacier Bear.  As far as I know,  they all sold.  Mental Health is considering putting in a road to access more of their lots,  then putting them up for sale as well.  We could be in for a little land sale boom in 2018.

If you have an interest in owning your own little slice of paradise,  call the city for details…

Tsunami and Earthquake Update

Good morning everyone!  Hope all is well with you.  Most people in Yakutat are a little groggy this morning,  since this was a real tsunami warning and we actually did what we were supposed to!  People went door-to-door and evacuated to the school and/or higher ground.

Apparently one of the ocean buoys rose 33 feet during the quake,  so a real tsunami was expected.  Nothing much hit here,  but Yakutat actually prepared for the worst.  Listening to one of the reports after the fact this morning,  they were recommending all coastal communities evacuate to at least 100 feet above sea level.  That’s kind of hard to do in Yakutat,  since you’d have to be at the top of the moraine up against the mountains to do that.  Even 9 Mile Bridge is only about 60 feet,  let alone the airport at only about 20 feet…

But all is OK here.  No damage.  An absolutely gorgeous sunny morning with between 4 and 6 inches of fresh snow covering everything.

Rocking and Rolling in the Hangar Tonight

Yet another good earthquake under our belts.  This one rocked and swayed us for more than 2 minutes.  According to the USGS site,  it was located out in the ocean 10 km under the ocean floor about 200 km southeast of Kodiak Island.  This is a LONG way away for us to feel it like that,  but it was an 8.2!


Currently under a tsunami warning from California through the Aleutians,  as well as Hawaii.  According to the tsunami forecast,  e should see our swell here at 2:05am,  so in another 50 minutes from my typing.  Oh,  they just downgraded it to a 7.9.

Here is the Tsunami warning info:



And it is snowing heavy right now.  Gotta be up for the ACE mail flight in two hours,  but thought I’d let you know we’re all still alive at the moment…