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Thread: Alaska Snowpack and streamflow forecast

  1. #1
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    Default Alaska Snowpack and streamflow forecast

    So I am researching anything I can come up with for my annual July Alaska trip. Probably not a very important detail but I love researching anything I can just to be thinking about fishing in Alaska. My question is what is the snowpack like right now for the Kenai drainage? I know it doesn't affect fishing much come end of July and more depends on weather for kenai river flow levels but just curious. Is it looking like a normal year for water flow?

    I have noticed some sizable variation in the last few years with water flow and in some situations it did effect where the reds were running in our usual spots and created some better or worse holes. Of course visibility is huge for Kings but that is looking like it won't matter this year anyway. Anyway, any thoughts on kenai river flows this year? Thanks guys!

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    Impossible to predict as the kenai river's predominate water supply is the source of glacier melt, temps and rainfall would be the major determining factors. You will just have to wait and see when you arrive.

  3. #3
    Member FishGod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brown drake View Post
    So I am researching anything I can come up with for my annual July Alaska trip. Probably not a very important detail but I love researching anything I can just to be thinking about fishing in Alaska. My question is what is the snowpack like right now for the Kenai drainage? I know it doesn't affect fishing much come end of July and more depends on weather for kenai river flow levels but just curious. Is it looking like a normal year for water flow?

    I have noticed some sizable variation in the last few years with water flow and in some situations it did effect where the reds were running in our usual spots and created some better or worse holes. Of course visibility is huge for Kings but that is looking like it won't matter this year anyway. Anyway, any thoughts on kenai river flows this year? Thanks guys!


    Actually, July is a crucial month with heavy dependency on the previous winter's snow level. With little snow pack, the snow in the mountains is melted by early to mid-June and if no rain follows the water table starts to drop. The past couple of years throughout Southcentral have been hard on tributary spawning king salmon that spawn in late July due to low water levels with elevated water temperatures. Documented pre-spawn mortality has occured on some streams in the past few years due to low July water levels, elevated water temperatures, and very low dissolved oxygen. This is just one example, but low snow pack will have an effect on all species in one form or another during July. This year, the snow pack in the Kenai Drainage is lower than normal. Currently, the clarity of the Kenai is the worst I've seen during the winter months in a very long time. The Snow River glacial dam burst is having a lasting effect in regards to turbity.
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    Member theultrarider's Avatar
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    Agreed. I've never see the snow pack as low in the kenai mountians as it is this year. It is crazy how little snow there is up there this spring. Rivers will be very low without alot of rain this summer.

  5. #5
    Member fishNphysician's Avatar
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    A low Kenai will mean more accessible sockeye spots.
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  6. #6
    Member Anythingalaska's Avatar
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    The snowpack here on the outer coast of southeast is quite dismal. At this rate the snow will be gone by the end of may. Gonna be a tough year on the fish this year!

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