My pants, socks, and boots are soaked. I'm tired and slightly embarrassed. I don't think I could scream "Cheechako" any more than I already do. I successfully got the government vehicle stuck in the snow which didn't appear nearly as deep as it was first driving into the abandoned parking lot. Can it be any more obvious this is my first Alaska winter? Luckily my coworkers come to my aid, and though their rescue was not flawless, eventually the third vehicle freed us both, and I was on my way.
Many of us were bracing for a dramatic and messy break-up this year. Ice jams, flooding, clogged culverts, and rutted side roads seemed inevitable after all the snow that fell this winter. Instead, it has been a very gradual melt with little rainfall to speed up the process.
Whoomp whoomp whoomp. The chopper's blades beat overhead as its skids touched down on the tarmac. This was it: Go time. Months of preparation, and all the hours we'd been up before dawn packing last-minute items, had all come down to this one moment.
Hidden Lake is a popular area for recreation on the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. It offers great activities such as camping, hiking, and fishing and is easily accessed by the Skilak Lake Loop Road from two points on the Sterling Highway. Hidden Lake is most notorious for its popular Lake trout fishery, which is the largest sport fishery for Lake trout on the Kenai Peninsula.
By HEATHER FULLER
Give a child a fish to eat and they are happy for a day. Teach a child to fish and you instill a sense of wonder and excitement that could lead to a lifelong hobby! Studies have shown that the time we spend outside helps alleviate stress while also providing benefits to our mental and physical health. Even taking just five minutes a day to engage with the natural world can significantly impact a person's quality of life.
The Kenai Peninsula supports approximately 44 percent of Alaska's sport anglers but represents less than two percent of the state's land area. The world famous Kenai River single-handedly has supported over 20 percent of the state's total anglers between 1995 and 2005. Needless to say, a lot of fishing takes place on the Kenai Peninsula.
There is nothing more relaxing and exhilarating than the clean smell of a freshwater stream, and the peaceful sound of water cascading over rocks on a clear summer day. Everything seems so perfect. With fishing rod in hand, you cast out for another try. You hope this day and the fishing will never end. Many anglers dream and live for days like this. But unknowingly, our angling boots may be harming Alaska's streams by transporting aquatic invasive species from one stream to another.
Since arriving from Tennessee about a month ago, I have learned a lot about some of the invasive species threatening the harmonious balance of Alaska's different ecosystems.
A killer is stalking the waters of Southcentral Alaska, lurking in the shadows and ambushing our wild salmon and trout! Many Southcentral lakes and streams are already empty of everything but the killer: northern pike. Soon many of our sportfishing opportunities may be gone.
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