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Thread: What do you mean the water doesn't get above 60? Newbie Questions

  1. #1
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    May 2014
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    Default What do you mean the water doesn't get above 60? Newbie Questions

    Sorry to do this on my first post, but I'm hoping y'all can help me understand a few things. This is my first Alaskan summer and I've been eyeballing the Hobie Mirage Tandem Island for general kayaking and fishing in the lakes and rivers around the Anchorage area. The problem is that I've been getting conflicting information regarding what all is recommended/required up here (I've been in SC most of my life).

    The water temperature seems to stay under 60, according to NOAA, but is a dry suit really needed for the lakes and rivers?
    Do any of y'all own a Hobie Mirage Island and can provide some feedback on how it does up here and water intake(splash)?
    How many months of the year is kayaking viable without special equipment, i.e. drysuits, if ever?

    I appreciate any info y'all can give me.

  2. #2
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    Palmer, Alaska
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    I don't know much about kayaking but I know on a nice summer's day people, such as myself, will swim ​in these lakes.

  3. #3
    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
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    The smaller lakes and shallower bays of the bigger "black water" lakes get warm enough to swim in by mid-summer as do a few interior rivers like the Chena and Salcha but generally most Alaskan lakes stay cold all year. Glacial rivers are hypothermia death traps as is the ocean.

    Coming from South Carolina you should definitely invest in a high end drysuit, especially if you intend to do any whitewater or ocean kayaking at all.
    If cave men had been trophy hunters the Wooly Mammoth would be alive today

  4. #4

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    average river temps range between 39 - 44 degrees, depending on depth of reading (speed and depth vs. glacial or mountain-drainage).

    Average lake temp after mid July and before August 20 is around 49 degrees from my studies, also depth related (2-5 ft depth readings near shore.

    Antone not accustom to swimming in cold waters should be prepared to take very short soaks and have rewarming capacities nearby.

    Temps are temps regardless, so 40s and 50s in your neck o the woods is the same here, except ambient temps will be cooler here than in the Lower 48 states, so that also contributes to lower core temps on the rebound.

    do not underestimate swimming in AK. It will feel colder here than anywhere in the Contiguous 48, fo sho.

    lb

  5. #5
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    The small lakes you'll be fine water is definitely warm enough to swim in by mid June. I'm from ky so I feel your pain. Most of the rivers never get warm enough to comfortably walk accross, the water where we fished this wkend was cool even in a pair of 1000gram insulated waders we were chasing salmon in one of the bays and after a couple hrs my toes got cold. I would avoid the bays except on the most calm days and invest in a good splash skirt if that's an option for the kayaks you are looking at when I say the water is cold I mean the water in most places we've fishing will make your beer so cold it's nearly painful to drink.

    Sent from my HTC One using Tapatalk

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