Why Am I Home?

Ard

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I remember telling a forum member this 11 years ago. Shortly after the Alaska forums were created a fella was messaging me about coming to fish someday. He said he wanted to come someday, maybe when he retired. I told him this, I said "This ain't like a bottle of wine buddy, it isn't getting better with age". That was 11 years ago, sometimes it sucks if you are right about something.
 

ia_trouter

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Your birch trees are doing what they do when they are drought stressed. They drop their leaves and try to go dormant while they ride it out. Your's will likely be OK provided they have a few reasonably normal precipitation years soon. I've observed this in MN during hot dry years. In the southern end of their range the borers would get them while they are stressed. They aren't native where I live, but I have grown perhaps fifty of them over the years, and researched their needs. They do exactly what your trees are doing now when it gets bad. They aren't dead, but they aren't happy either. There is a limit to how much heat and drought they can withstand for sure. Your's will likely throw out an extreme amount of catkins next spring as the species survival mechanism kicks in. Just as pine, spruce and other conifers over produce cones when they "feel" threatened.
 

Ard

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I know about trees going dormant Dewayne, you might have missed the part where I said 3 of the past 4 summers have been so dry the same thing happened. The ones with zero leaves are dead buddy, dead for real and not coming back sad to say.

We spent the day making potato salad, fried chicken and some corn on the cob, life is good :)
 

cwb124

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I floated the Wulik river NE of Kotzebue, AK last year. I followed a few guys who did that identical trip this year, but they did it 3rd or 4th week of July. They were slammed with an 85-90 degree heat wave. They were MISERABLE. Mosquitoes were unbearable. I was shocked.
 

Ard

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The Wulik River and Kotzebue are quite far to the Northwest of my area and I have never been there. However I am not surprised to hear that conditions are faltering there as well. Here in the greater South Central area things remain the same save for the water being a bit lower than when the thread originated. I'm about to talk with management (my wife) regarding an overnighter up north to grayling fish. If this is approved I'll be absent through Wednesday. I can always go alone but it's more fun if she goes along.
 

ia_trouter

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If she says no, then head down to the Wasilla Piggly Wiggly and pick up a 12 pack of Alaskan Ale because you're making us sad. :)

Seriously though, hope you get some rain soon before it's steelhead time. There's no fixing the salmon runs this year.
 

Ard

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I have been greenlighted and will sign off and get the gear changed out, no need for spey rods where I'm headed :) Gonna throw an air bed in the back of the truck and make a day of it and I promise to take photos. I've been really bad about that this year....
 

Joey Bagels

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My friends in Anchorage are telling me the skies are thick with smoke from nearby and not so nearby fires. Time will tell if this is the new normal, but sadly our government is so paralyzed and interested only in serving their corporate lords that I don’t see any hope for resources to ameliorate and adequately plan for conditions if they deteriorate further (or even just stay the same). Between the ill-informed that willingly voted the con-man into office and the career politicians willing to say and do anything to keep in power, our system is well and truly broken. I’m just glad I don’t have children to leave this mess to.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

tcorfey

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Just talked to my staff in Anchorage and they said the Airlines are now canceling flights due to air quality and high winds. People are scrambling to find hotel rooms.

I heard the train route up north was canceled along with sections of Parks highway too. Several school closures, not a good scenario all those trees in distress/bark beetle infestations, high temps, winds and no rain.

Best of luck Ard and stay safe!

Edit: Had an update from my staff late last night and they corrected themselves saying only prop plane flights were being cancelled. The commercial jets were still flying.

Tim C
 
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bushak

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The water is too low to safely operate my boat on any but the glaciated rivers. Water temps are way high and levels lower than ever in my 15 year experience here. Any salmon are sitting still and not moving up river for obvious reasons. This is like end times if you love Spey casting for salmon....
I live in the Kuskokwim. We had large amounts of dead pinks and chums from the water. We dipnetted, from a boat, this year for reds and we were shocked by how warm the water was.

A buddy in Valdez was telling me about all the pinks in the bay there. Most of the streams don't have enough water so the pinks are constantly circling searching for streams that currently don't exist. Similar conditions in Juneau as well. Add in the fires in Coopers Landing and Willow and you've got a terrible fall season.

We have a cabin rental in Coopers Landing for Labor Day. We are still debating on going because Quartz Creek is still open but unfortunately the Kenai is closed (and at flood stage for what it's worth).
 

Ard

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I am familiar with what is happening in Valdez. It is the same in every major bay here, the fish are in but the streams are too low to ascend.

I am on Fish & Game's butt like a dirty diaper daily asking why the entire drainages are not closed to fishing Silvers. They have closed only 2 rivers in the entire Matanuska Susitna Drainage thus far!

Worst conditions every year, each year outdoes the last.

Just remember, Climate Change is a Hoax and what you are seeing is normal.
 

Ard

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That Extreme Drought block is right on top of me here, you can see that things extend all the way past Bethel and into western Alaska. Things have been getting drier each year for a decade. We did have a "500 year flood" just 8 years ago but after the deluge things ran off and became dry again. Lack of snow and ice during winters and low rain falls during summers add up to the bad times here.
 

bushak

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That Extreme Drought block is right on top of me here, you can see that things extend all the way past Bethel and into western Alaska. Things have been getting drier each year for a decade. We did have a "500 year flood" just 8 years ago but after the deluge things ran off and became dry again. Lack of snow and ice during winters and low rain falls during summers add up to the bad times here.
I live in Bethel. I've barely taken out my sno-go in years due to the lack of snow. This year we were abnormally dry and then just got blasted with those 90 degree days. We were lucky not to experience any of the fires which is really a credit to people around here being really mindful. This area had quite a few fires 5-6 years ago that threatened some of the villages. The bright side is our moose population exploded due to all the new forage.

I feel for the guides in Coopers Landing. It looks like the Upper Kenai is going to be closed for some time with the fires near Jim's Landing, Russian River campground, etc. I know it took a big bite out of my Labor Day plans.
 

Ard

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If you were looking at Kenai as destination you've avoided the crowd. Unfortunately I can't suggest any other destinations because every river and creek in the region is terribly low.
 

Ard

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Swan Lake Fire has Cooper Landing and the Sterling Highway in closure situations regularly. Last I heard no fishing on the upper river at this time.
 

bushak

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We ended up cancelling our Airbnb and getting another in Talkeetna. I fish Montana Creek a few times a year so I’m familiar with it and we will hit up Peters Creek and maybe Byers Creek on our way to kayaking Byers lake. Water is super low on those parks streams which is unfortunate.

I tied up some megawatt streamers for some silvers but looks like the run is about over for those streams. Hurray for beads and flesh flies.
 
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