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Thread: Chatnika River

  1. #1
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    Default Chatnika River

    Ok, so I admit I haven't lived in Fairbanks for about 8 years, but some things I can't believe have changed or am I crazy. I went to launch into the Chatnika River near the Elliot Highway and could not find the old boat launch. Am I crazy or was there not a nice launch near the Olnes pond road? I tried Murphy Dome and found that it is pretty much toast unless you want to risk damage. Can you still get into Minto Flats anywhere off the Chatnika? I want to take my little ones fishing back off Goldstream in the flats. Any suggestions PM or otherwise would be greatly appreciated. If not I will try the otherside from Minto itself. Thanks!

    John

  2. #2
    Member akshrop's Avatar
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    Default

    There is still a nice launch off of the highway. It is on the north side of the bridge. You have to drive through the camp ground maybe 3/4 of a mile before you get to it. I canít imagine going to Minto that way however. It would take forever. The river is skinny and unreal windy. You can travel 10 river miles to get 1 mile from the launch. I usually launch in Minto itself. I donít think you will save anytime by launching else where. Good luck and let us know how it goes.

  3. #3
    Member akjw7's Avatar
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    Default

    mind sharing more on the murphey dome road? Damage to - truck? Boat? Damage from the rough road or ?

    Also just curious how big of a boat your hauling - I've got a little john boat I was thinking of hauling that way - thanks for the info.

  4. #4
    Member akshrop's Avatar
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    Default

    A thread search will turn up all kinds of directions. We pike lovers hit this hard a couple times a year on the forum.

  5. #5
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    Default MDR

    Has anyone been to the bottom of MDR yet this year? I'm sure it is the same as it is every year. I've been down there 3 different times, the only harm I've ever done is ripping my spare tire of the trailer, deep rut. It was mounted on the side but I've got her up on top now so I should be good. I should be back from the sand box in 2 weeks. I plan on taking my 4 wheeler to scout it out. I'll post my findings if nobody else has any reports.

  6. #6
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    I went down it last week. There is a huge rut, almost a hole just before the river. In several places I would have had to drag my trailer as it would bottom out (I didn't have the boat with me). It just looked like a lot of damage could be done on that road now to a boat and trailer. The last 1/4 mile of the road is pretty muddy with ruts and holes. I was wondering if my truck would make it and that wasn't hauling a boat.

  7. #7
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    AKJW7,
    I would drive the road before you haul a boat down it. I use to go back there all the time when I was first up in Fairbanks. 8 years ago it was pretty rough, but you could take it slow. Now it is really bad and I am a little more careful with my new boat. It just isn't worth it to me. If I still had my 16' lowe I might give it a try mostly because I didn't care as much about that boat/tailer. The road is passable, it's just getting pretty tough on equipment. The last 1/4 mile has really changed and gotten worse in my opinion. Like I said though I haven't been down it in 8 years so maybe it just adds up to shock value from being gone so long.

  8. #8
    Member akjw7's Avatar
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    thanks john -

    helmuth - that's what I was thinking too - 4 wheeler run!

  9. #9
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    Default worse every year

    It seems like the bottom has gotten more tore up every year. Rumor had it last year that a fish & game F-350 had tire chains on down there and made some huge ruts. I dont ever see it getting any better but that's ok, more pike for me. I'll post a reports once I get back, should be in 2 weeks or so.

  10. #10
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    Default Use 4 wheeler

    Last year we took both our boats into the MDR route. The bottom was terribly rutted but we towed the boats (18 ft jons) behind our 4 wheelers. The two biggest towed the boats and the other smaller machines took people and gear. Fun fun ride and at the bottom we used 4 wheelers and winches to carefully guide the boats between the ruts for that 100 yds of ruts (leave the boat hooked to one wheeler and have another trail behind to the side with the winch line hooked to a corner of the trailer, if starts to slide into a rut you correct it with the winch). The 4 wheelers are much more manueverable and you aren't a slave to the truck running down established ruts. It sure saved on the pickup which we left parked up in the domes parking lot. It depends on the size of your boat and wheelers.

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