The Orvis “20 Days in September” Challenge – Part 3

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An early fall leopard rainbow from the Susitna Drainage.

Last month, Orvis challenged anglers to log 20 days on the water during the month of September. They didn’t have to be full days, just a legitimate attempt at catching fish. Anglers were asked to take a picture from each outing and post it to the Orvis Facebook page with the hashtag #OrvisFlyFishing and #20inSep.

I last wrote about my progress about half way through September, at which point I had logged just six days on the water. I knew I had to put in significant effort if I were to even come close to twenty days on the water. So here is how the second half of September went.  Continue reading “The Orvis “20 Days in September” Challenge – Part 3”

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3 Takeaways from MSB Fish & Wildlife Commission Meeting

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Mat-Su Borough Assembly Chambers at the start of Tuesday meeting. Photo: Ben Rowell

On Tuesday, August 22, the Matanuska Susitna Borough Fish and Wildlife Commission held a special meeting with representatives from ADF&G to discuss concerns about recent Upper Cook Inlet fish management decisions. In attendance were commission members, ADF&G Commissioner Sam Cotten, Tom Brookover, ADF&G Director of the Division of Sport Fish, Scott Kelley, ADF&G Director of the Divisions of Commercial Fisheries, and about 125 Mat-Su residents and elected officials. The meeting was scheduled to run from 5pm to 7pm but ran an hour longer to accommodate public testimony.

Here are my three takeaways from the meeting.  Continue reading “3 Takeaways from MSB Fish & Wildlife Commission Meeting”

3 Good Articles: It’s Not Our Fault Edition

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During my quest to learn more about how Mat-Su Valley fisheries are managed, I’ve come across a few good reads that Mat-Su sport anglers may find interesting. As usual, they include a lot of finger pointing.

It’s the Sport Angler’s Fault

The first is Little Susitna River Salmon History from 1886 to 2012, produced by Roland Maw, PhD, United Cook Inlet Drift Association (UCIDA) Executive Director and Audrey Salmon, UCIDA Office Manager, in 2013.

In this report, UCIDA lays out its argument for why coho salmon runs have declined in the Little Su, including laying blame on in-river users (sport anglers) for over harvesting the resource.  Continue reading “3 Good Articles: It’s Not Our Fault Edition”

How to Dispose of Fish Waste in the Mat-Su Valley

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Photo: Alaska Department of Fish and Game
The Valley’s Fish Creek may open to dipnetting by Emergency Order on July 10 if ADF&G projects the escapement to reach the goal of 50,000 sockeye salmon. On the same day many will head south to participate in opening day of the Kenai River dipnet fishery. Thousands of fish will soon be filleted, smoked, vacuum packed or canned and there’s no better time than now to review how to properly dispose of fish waste in the Mat-Su Valley.  Continue reading “How to Dispose of Fish Waste in the Mat-Su Valley”

Poor Salmon Runs Have Guides Targeting Trout, Sitting It Out

Last week ADF&G announced two emergency orders limiting opportunities to harvest king salmon. The first banned the use of bait on the Deshka River. The second closed the Little Su to king salmon fishing except for a few upcoming weekends. With such poor returns, some anticipate both rivers closing to all king salmon fishing, including catch and release, as early as this week.  Continue reading “Poor Salmon Runs Have Guides Targeting Trout, Sitting It Out”

Fishing Report Roundup! (May 27, 2017)

By Chad Gage
A healthy leopard rainbow trout. Photo by Chad Gage

The Fishing Report Roundup gathers reports from around the web for your easy reference. Reports from multiple sources provide you with an idea of what is happening in an area and where to focus your efforts in the upcoming days. Remember that fishing reports state how conditions are on a specific day or week. Conditions can quickly change since first reported.

Continue reading “Fishing Report Roundup! (May 27, 2017)”

Fishing Report Roundup! (May 13, 2017)

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The Fishing Report Roundup gathers reports from around the web for your easy reference. Reports from multiple sources provide you with an idea of what is happening in an area and where to focus your efforts in the upcoming days. Remember that fishing reports state how conditions are on a specific day or week. Conditions can quickly change since first reported.

May 6 – May 12 – Fishing has been good at most Mat-Su lakes. A lot of reports coming out of Finger Lake and Loberg Lake have included pictures of above average size rainbow trout. There is a 70% chance of rain on Saturday and Sunday so boat traffic may be light on popular lakes.  Continue reading “Fishing Report Roundup! (May 13, 2017)”

Urban Tumbleweed: It’s What’s for Dinner

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Cottonwood Creek just 100 yards from the Parks Highway. Photo: Ben Rowell

The Mat-Su has a plastic bag problem. It’s harmful to the environment, unsightly, and embarrassing.

We’ve all seen it. The urban tumbleweeds dangling from trees like ornaments along the Parks Highway or partially sunken into the mud along the banks of our waterways. Besides being an eyesore, plastic bags poise a risk to salmon returning to our local streams.

“Plankton eat it, salmon eat plankton. Salmon are also attracted to the plastic because it grows algae, so they eat it as food. So it comes back to us on our dinner plates”, Mat-Su Bag It Committee member Carol Montgomery told KTVAContinue reading “Urban Tumbleweed: It’s What’s for Dinner”

More from Alaska’s Board of Fisheries Meeting

As mentioned last week, I committed to learning more about Alaska’s Board of Fisheries (BOF) as it works through proposals at its 2017 meeting. The meeting is not everyone’s cup of tea, as many of my sport fishing friends have given up on the BOF due to the political nature of managing our fisheries.

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It takes fish to make fish was the message MSBFWC took to the BOF meeting.

You see, the BOF is made up of seven members, appointed by the governor and confirmed by the legislature. While the BOF’s website states board members are appointed “on the basis of interest in public affairs, good judgment, knowledge, and ability in the field of action of the board, with a view to providing diversity of interest and points of view in the membership”, many believe that the outcomes of BOF meetings are determine on election night, not at the BOF meetings.

Continue reading “More from Alaska’s Board of Fisheries Meeting”