Seward Highway/ Potters Marsh
Just thought I would ask if anyone has ever hunted right out of Anchorage off the Seward before Potters Marsh? I know you need hunters safety but other than that I have not heard much else about it. Anyone have experience over there?
There is info on the Anchorage Coastal refuge on the ADFG website. You need a refuge permit as well which can be obtained free online. There is a limited area to shoot a gun in, but if you have a bird of prey then more area is open to you (I think).
The access is limited to just a few points - one near a park in Ocean View and the two road side spots at Potter. The railroad gets all grumpy when you walk on the tracks, so cross them and don't stroll along them.
People hunt out there all the time during the season, but you don't hear many people talking about it. With limited parking and limited water to pull birds into it they don't want to get too crowded out there.
With the change in habitat in Potter making it more suitable to raising sea gulls rather than ducks and geese like it was in the 70's and 80's the hunting on the flats side is slowing down and getting harder. AND more people are trying to hunt it.
what changes in habitat are you referring too? ive noted this year less ducklings as in years past as i drive that way every day. The marsh seems to be the same?
Slow changes over decades
Some time back in the spring there was a good outdoors article in the Daily Snooze about the work being done in Potter Marsh. Mostly about the new board walk, but there also was a good map showing the changes in habitat from 20 years ago to now as well as the change in nesting habits over the same time frame. I can not find this on-line now.
It originally was a salt marsh until the rail bed was built and it has slowly changed to a freshwater marsh. It took a long time for the vegetation to change, but it appears to have increased in the last two decades. Maybe a build up of enough organics to support other plants? Maybe an increase in run off from the development up slope? Who knows.
The habitat became better for the mew gulls than the waterfowl, especially the geese, and the increase in mew gull population increases the mortality of the waterfowl eggs.