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Thread: Snow Levels in PWS

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    Member jojomoose's Avatar
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    Post Snow Levels in PWS

    Hello All,

    I know this is a hunting question but figured more of you have been out in the area shrimping and such. I was wondering what the snow level was compared to last year. I have heard it is worse, (which i highly doubt) and have heard it is better but not by much. I have a good feeling it is less due to last year record breaking levels.

    My second question is how do i find this information out? I have searched google pretty good, and all it gives me is averages. I dont want averages. I want hard counts as for this time in 2011, 2012, and 2013 in which those are the years i have been out to compare. does anybody know where i can find this information out? thanks again

    Joe

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    Member Swissy's Avatar
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    my trip out this past shrimp opener vs last years opener shows it is worse this year - maybe not as much snow overall, but not nearly as much melting as last year this time. We had to bring the cooler inside the cabin as everything froze solid in it overnight this year, and last year we never saw that. The water coming off the rocks was FAR less, and it took longer to shovel stairs into the hill to get up to the cabin, as well as a couple of hours of chopping ice off the stairs to even get up the rocks to get to the snow. This is all at the Paulson Bay forest service cabin.
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    Member jrogers's Avatar
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    I was looking at the snow depth. I agree with the statement that it is melting slow. I saw places where it was almost all gone on south facing slopes, and maybe 6-8 feet at the waterline on some north facing slopes. We were in Bettles Bay one night, and there was 1/4 to 1/2 inch of ice on the water in the morning when left.
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    Member Rob B's Avatar
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    Yep, I agree. Seems like some areas have a lot more than normal around the northern end of the Port Wells area. Some of the rolling hills around Ester were getting clear, but not much. Blackstone had a ton of snow too. I never made it down south of Culross, but hopeing someone that has will chime in.
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    Member AKluvr95's Avatar
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    Just returned last night from 3 days shrimping down south. We estimated ~ 8 feet of snow below Culross. As Swissy stated, not much thaw taking place right now. Very few waterfalls and those that were normally raging we just a trickle with these cold evenings. It snowed hard Saturday we were strictly IFR for a frew hours using radar and GPS/Chartplotter to get around. Heading to school tonight and going right back out tomorrow. Also there's very little grass exposed and what there is is 99.9% brown.

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    Member Rob B's Avatar
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    Thanks for the update Guy. I was hoping you would chime in. Good luck out there this weekend. Found out today that I should be up and running soon.
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    Does anyone know if there's any correlation between these late winters and the late/poor salmon returns lately? More snow=less spring runoff=less than ideal spawning streams perhaps?

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    Member AKluvr95's Avatar
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    Glad to hear you should be back up and running soon. We're looking forward to sharing more good times out on PWS.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob B View Post
    Thanks for the update Guy. I was hoping you would chime in. Good luck out there this weekend. Found out today that I should be up and running soon.

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    tooled around in blackstone saturday and there is about 8' anywhere you look, suppose there are thin spots but it was very deep and cold anywhere out of the sun

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    I will be getting a report from the eastern side of PWS in a few days from Ravencroft Lodge, and will let you all know what it is like on that side...

  11. #11

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    I know this is a hunting question but figured more of you have been out in the area shrimping and such. I was wondering what the snow level was compared to last year. I have heard it is worse, (which i highly doubt) and have heard it is better but not by much. I have a good feeling it is less due to last year record breaking levels.
    jojomoose,

    Snow levels this year for both Anchorage and Girdwood are slightly above normal, around 20%, from the numbers I have seen. The difference with this spring over last year has been the temperatures in April have been running 10-20 degrees below normal averages. So spring melting has been at a much slower rate this year.

    Here is a picture of the Paulson Bay cabin staircase, the same as in Swissy's picture ealier in this thread from this year, from last year, 4/27/2012, after the record snowfall. The week we were out there last year the temperatures were warmer and we had a lot of rain. Thus more melting of the snow pack was occurring.

    As far as finding historical snow levels in PWS, check with Federal Fish and Game folks as I have seen them reference snow data related to deer mortality.

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    Member jojomoose's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the updates guys, we have plans to head out there two weeks from today. We have little leverage with our plans, so i looks like we will have to bring the thermals. We are going one week later than we did last year, and last year we got one. Saw two, but were weathered in camp for all but two days. If the bears are awake we will find them, just need some grass to sprout between now and then. I hope to here more from all of you in the next two weeks on this issue. right now we are having problems with our boat rental and inconsistent outdoor rec. I would love to lease just lease a boat for that week and a half and be done with them. thanks again guys

    Joe.

  13. #13

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    I was in the working in the Sound a couple weeks ago and I can tell you there is more snow on the western side than the east. We saw deer walking the beach on Storey Island and near Windy Bay. Knowles Head and Gravina had more brown muskeg showing than snow. I just think the western side is the armpit of the sound and more precipitation falls there over the entire winter. I guess that's why the deer population is less dense.

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    Member AKluvr95's Avatar
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    Just pulled in from PWS south. We got out ahead of the small craft advisory tonight/tomorrow and little has change since last week. Ice on everything this morning when we got up. Very little melt during the day and allt the little trickles quit running at night. Very limited grass that is exposed was solid brown with no new growth yet.

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    Member Sierra Hotel's Avatar
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    AKluvr95, saw you guys headed in as we were headed out on Saturday. Coming in Sunday afternoon was not a joy, but it wasn't horrible.

    I'll add to the discussion that some of the small bays (Like Long Bay in Culross) are still iced in . . .that was a surprise as we headed back looking for a spot to anchor up on Saturday afternoon. We ended up in the first large anchorage on the L as you come into Culross. We were surprised that we were the only one anchored up there, as it can be pretty crowded (4-5 boats) sometime later in the year. Of course, with the SCA out on Saturday afternoon (not sure why they issued that one - seas 2' all the way to Culross), a lot of the smart people probably bailed on what turned out to be a beautiful weekend in the sound.

    Ran into Bob Marley on the way in Saturday . . .

  16. #16
    Member AKluvr95's Avatar
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    Were you in the orange Hewes near the harbor?

    I had the wife and our dog on board so while we were bummed to have to leave early it was the right call for us.
    Not sure what happend to that forecast. After holding off Thursday it was supposed to be continually improving through Sunday.
    Glad we listen to the wx updates on the 4's on VHF.

    We were suprised to find no glacier ice floating for our coolers.
    We ended up collecting sea ice chunks in East Finger Bay that still has a solid 6 inch sheet of ice over 2/3 of it's 2 mile length.


    Quote Originally Posted by Sierra Hotel View Post
    AKluvr95, saw you guys headed in as we were headed out on Saturday. Coming in Sunday afternoon was not a joy, but it wasn't horrible.

    I'll add to the discussion that some of the small bays (Like Long Bay in Culross) are still iced in . . .that was a surprise as we headed back looking for a spot to anchor up on Saturday afternoon. We ended up in the first large anchorage on the L as you come into Culross. We were surprised that we were the only one anchored up there, as it can be pretty crowded (4-5 boats) sometime later in the year. Of course, with the SCA out on Saturday afternoon (not sure why they issued that one - seas 2' all the way to Culross), a lot of the smart people probably bailed on what turned out to be a beautiful weekend in the sound.

    Ran into Bob Marley on the way in Saturday . . .

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    has anyone been down to the Nellie Juan area lately. I am planning a trip down there this up coming weekend. Curious how the snow level is down there.

  18. #18
    Member AKluvr95's Avatar
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    Been in there the last two weeks. Still frozen in time...
    Grass is brown and little to no green sprouts yet.
    Bays like East Finger have 6 inches of sea ice on 2/3 of it's 2 mile stretch.
    Floating glacier ice for coolers ~ non-existent.
    Minimal waterfall action and in fact the ones near where we anchored all but stopped running during the cold nights.
    Normal shrimp areas not producing as glacial sediments are not washing out due to cold temps.

    Quote Originally Posted by joebut1985 View Post
    has anyone been down to the Nellie Juan area lately. I am planning a trip down there this up coming weekend. Curious how the snow level is down there.

  19. #19
    Member jojomoose's Avatar
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    wow akluvr....I didnt here one good thing about the Nelly juan area. I am headed down that way in a week and hope it improves some in that time. I have never seen east finger all frozen up, that will be one hell of a site to see. hope to see some improvement posted by this weekend, so you guy have done awesome so far. thanks for all the heads up, I have already packed my car hearts and fire starters for this year trip.

  20. #20
    Member AKluvr95's Avatar
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    I think one major contributor [still snowing] is the lack of a good rain.
    Wx Underground forecast http://www.wunderground.com/cgi-bin/...:99693.1.99999
    We tend to shrimp off the beaten path and while we don't put up the numbers some more experienced folk do on here, me and my close friends are eating very well these days. We made a total of 17 sets and managed 542 shrimp for an overall average 31.88 per pot. I'll take that any day...
    Good Luck.

    Quote Originally Posted by jojomoose View Post
    wow akluvr....I didnt here one good thing about the Nelly juan area. I am headed down that way in a week and hope it improves some in that time. I have never seen east finger all frozen up, that will be one hell of a site to see. hope to see some improvement posted by this weekend, so you guy have done awesome so far. thanks for all the heads up, I have already packed my car hearts and fire starters for this year trip.

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