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Thread: Jim Creek water level

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    Default Jim Creek water level

    Sort of like talking about the weather, can't do anything about it, but does anyone have any theories on why the Jim Creek drainage has dropped over 2 feet of water in the last month? I have also noticed that there is virtually no current behind the lake...looks like the place is about to dry up. Tried running up along the mountains, need something with tracks to get any distance.

    Is anyone else seeing this in other areas this year?

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    Oh, it's human-caused global warming for sure.


    But seriously, could it be because we had such a warm summer that the high country melted off early, causing the creeks to drop early too? Just a guess.

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    Member skybust's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ERDucker View Post
    Sort of like talking about the weather, can't do anything about it, but does anyone have any theories on why the Jim Creek drainage has dropped over 2 feet of water in the last month? I have also noticed that there is virtually no current behind the lake...looks like the place is about to dry up. Tried running up along the mountains, need something with tracks to get any distance.

    Is anyone else seeing this in other areas this year?
    The only thing I can think of is the hot summer we had. I havent been up yet this year plan on going to my cabin by swan lake saturday and sunday. hows the hunting been any birds around.

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    Member Rick P's Avatar
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    Hot, kinda wet summer, combined with a glacier coated in volcanic ash, melting tons of glacier water. At one time the knick was very high, much nigher than normal. Same with several other glacier rivers the matanuska immediately comes to mind. Weather cools, melting slows, no rain, back flow into Jim creek subsides. The whole change happens fairly quickly leading to a "quick drop" back to what would be seasonal norm's.

    Skyburst

    Can't speak for the Jim creek side but my side has seemed to be behind this time last year in total bird numbers. Do to the swan with an arrow in the butt I've been less focused on ducks than I had planed, I'm sure others will have a better update for you.
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    Default Swan Bog

    Quote Originally Posted by skybust View Post
    The only thing I can think of is the hot summer we had. I havent been up yet this year plan on going to my cabin by swan lake saturday and sunday. hows the hunting been any birds around.
    Heard a rumor that Friday creek re-routed itself and is not draining into the area anymore, straight into the Knik River. Haven't been able to verify that. Water levels are down significantly from past years, good luck accessing your cabin, the creek around the first island is weed choked and you can pretty much walk across it.

    Lots of birds in the area, however they are holding back in the bays where no boat can go anymore. We've been able to pick some up, but the Mallards and Pintails are getting shot out, mostly widgeon and gadwalls left. Some shooting back on Leaf, not sure how tough it would be getting in there, haven't tried it.

    We need a good solid week of rain to help out. Just to give you an idea of how shallow it is, the rock in Mud Lake has probably close to 18 inches exposed right now. The sloughs are really narrow, and if you are running anything other than a long tail, hold on tight, the bottom is really close.

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    The water levels are a bit lower than this time last year south of Anchorage also. Subsequently the ponds are holding less birds. We just need a couple of back to back storm days.

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    Default Sad day for me...

    I run a home made sneak boat with an outboard on a lift. Since 2003 I have been able to scoot out to the mouth of the slough and make it back to Leaf without too much extra work when the water levels drop leaving 18 inches of the big rock out of the water.

    Not anymore.

    On saturday the big rock was about 2 feet out of the water and it was not too far past there that the water was only 4 inches deep over the muck. My sneak boat needs 10 inches at the stern with just me in it.

    I tried to get to one of the sides of Mud Lake but the mud was still 50 yards from the grass so I sat out in the open. No birds came within shooting distance.

    There was a guy using a jet and he only made it 100 yards farther than I did, and he decided to sit there and pass shoot.

    I saw about the same numbers of birds as I normally do for the early part of September. All of them wise to boats and decoys. There was a large flock of teal/wigeon that zigged and zagged all over but didn't sit down anywhere and kept going back to Leaf. With access limited to mud motors and arm strong power this marsh could become a refuge from the Hay Flats.

    Something that did make me wonder is that moose hunters in their airboat went around Mud and Gull Lakes for over two hours. Typically this rallies a lot of birds. I only saw a few come over to where I was stuck in Mud Lake. Makes me think that Gull lake is even lower than Mud Lake and the grass is dry over there and not holding any birds.

    Unless there is a drastic change in the weather I will be paddling one of the little boats. Walking in to some spots that I know are not effected but can't boat to. However with less pressure by boat hunters there may not be birds in these areas until ice up.

    I am also wondering how this will change the marsh. Large parts of the grass areas will no longer flood in the spring and summer. Will this improve the nesting habitat? Will it decrease the food sources such as insects for the newly hatched ducks? And what about the silvers? The lakes are full of finger long silvers right now will they be able to get out or will they die off over the winter when it freezes solid?

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    Quote Originally Posted by AK Ray View Post
    I run a home made sneak boat with an outboard on a lift. Since 2003 I have been able to scoot out to the mouth of the slough and make it back to Leaf without too much extra work when the water levels drop leaving 18 inches of the big rock out of the water.

    Not anymore.

    On saturday the big rock was about 2 feet out of the water and it was not too far past there that the water was only 4 inches deep over the muck. My sneak boat needs 10 inches at the stern with just me in it.

    I tried to get to one of the sides of Mud Lake but the mud was still 50 yards from the grass so I sat out in the open. No birds came within shooting distance.

    There was a guy using a jet and he only made it 100 yards farther than I did, and he decided to sit there and pass shoot.

    I saw about the same numbers of birds as I normally do for the early part of September. All of them wise to boats and decoys. There was a large flock of teal/wigeon that zigged and zagged all over but didn't sit down anywhere and kept going back to Leaf. With access limited to mud motors and arm strong power this marsh could become a refuge from the Hay Flats.

    Something that did make me wonder is that moose hunters in their airboat went around Mud and Gull Lakes for over two hours. Typically this rallies a lot of birds. I only saw a few come over to where I was stuck in Mud Lake. Makes me think that Gull lake is even lower than Mud Lake and the grass is dry over there and not holding any birds.

    Unless there is a drastic change in the weather I will be paddling one of the little boats. Walking in to some spots that I know are not effected but can't boat to. However with less pressure by boat hunters there may not be birds in these areas until ice up.

    I am also wondering how this will change the marsh. Large parts of the grass areas will no longer flood in the spring and summer. Will this improve the nesting habitat? Will it decrease the food sources such as insects for the newly hatched ducks? And what about the silvers? The lakes are full of finger long silvers right now will they be able to get out or will they die off over the winter when it freezes solid?

    Ray I heard it was very low. I havent been out yet planning on hunting moose on the big su this weekend for last weekend of the season then I will hit the ducks

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    Quote Originally Posted by skybust View Post
    Ray I heard it was very low. I havent been out yet planning on hunting moose on the big su this weekend for last weekend of the season then I will hit the ducks
    I talked to a couple of guys at the ramp that I have never seen out there before. One was stuck in Swan last weekend with his mud motor. The other was almost stuck. They said that the barrier island across the back side of Swan is all the way out of the water.

    Over the weekend I took out my aerial photo of the area and noted that it as taken in early September 1996. It shows many of the areas I have hunted back in Leaf and Swan as wet grass with no open water. So this is has happened before.

    Good luck on the swamp donkey.

    We will have to hook up later on in the season.

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    Default Update

    The barrier island is not all the way out, you could still make it around the point, but you need a very narrow, shallow draft boat. The whole scene is sad when it comes to hunting. There are still a lot of birds in he area, but getting to them is nearly impossible. The old willow growth has blown down and now the lake is turning into a large mud hole. If we don't get any rain of substantial, maybe even biblical proportions, Swan, Leaf and Gull will not be huntable in a month. They are draining and nothing is there to fill them.

    So, with the Jim Creek area going to the birds, does anyone have a recommendation for South Central hunters?

    Any reports coming from Placer or 20 mile? How about up in the Sheep Mountain Area? Used to see a lot of birds gathering on the lakes and ponds to the south of the highway.

    Hate to hang it up early, the birds seem to be up in numbers.

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    Default Other spots

    It might be time for me to put on the big boy pants and head across to the Little Su flats at high tide and spend a day or weekend checking it out. Maybe up the Knik to goose bay at high tide as well.

    I have been out on Swan in the sneak boat when the wind was driving 2+ foot chop. The sneak boat didn't seem to notice it much so I am thinking that as long as I have water under the stern I should be able to get up a tidal gut to some "dry ground" on the flats to the east of the Lil' Su.

    Maybe a long run to Lake Louise and Tyone?

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    Default Lk. Louise

    Thought about this one, have some friends up there right now chasing furry animals, hoping they come back with some reports of birds. Thought about Deshka perhaps, seems like I recall seeing birds over there this time of year.

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    Ray sound good it would be great to hook up. You going out this weekend

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    I have Mallory this weekend. I plan on talking her into hunting with me and the puppy. Don't know yet where or what we will do. Maybe an afternoon spent paddling around jump shooting.

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    Whats the water in jim lake like. Could you go across jim lake to the portage. To get into the creek. It would have to be a small boat, unless you have wheels, Maybe even need a winch but wouldn't that work? No diff then what we have to do on the flats.

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    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AK DUCKMAN View Post
    Whats the water in jim lake like. Could you go across jim lake to the portage. To get into the creek. It would have to be a small boat, unless you have wheels, Maybe even need a winch but wouldn't that work? No diff then what we have to do on the flats.
    Jim Lake is fine since it is fed by three mountain streams. The 3 foot tall bank and the mud truck bog at the put in would keep me from launching my sneak boat. That and the new 5hp motor restriction in the lake. I do need a winch to get across the bank into the slough and back up the bank at the put in. However the sneak boat's semi displacement hull does not lend itself to being dragged around. Time to build a flat bottom boat in the same style.

    If I can find the right motor for one of the little boats I could use one of them and motor out to the big lakes. However once there I would be out in the open next to the mud flats since they are also getting low. If the whole system is 2 ft low then the channel into Leaf would almost be dry by now.

    When I checked on Jim Lake on saturday there were no birds. Not even loafers. With all the habitat and fewer hunters they are not pushed around enough to be moved into Jim Lake.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AK Ray View Post
    Jim Lake is fine since it is fed by three mountain streams. The 3 foot tall bank and the mud truck bog at the put in would keep me from launching my sneak boat. That and the new 5hp motor restriction in the lake. I do need a winch to get across the bank into the slough and back up the bank at the put in. However the sneak boat's semi displacement hull does not lend itself to being dragged around. Time to build a flat bottom boat in the same style.

    If I can find the right motor for one of the little boats I could use one of them and motor out to the big lakes. However once there I would be out in the open next to the mud flats since they are also getting low. If the whole system is 2 ft low then the channel into Leaf would almost be dry by now.

    When I checked on Jim Lake on saturday there were no birds. Not even loafers. With all the habitat and fewer hunters they are not pushed around enough to be moved into Jim Lake.
    How heavy of a sneak boat you got. Sounds like you need an Aquapod. As for the 5hp restricktion just paddle across the lake. I woulden't think there would be a problem as long as you don't start it up. Has been a while sence I'v been down to jim lake. Now that you mention it, I do remember it's not boat launch friendly. How close can you get to the water? If I had the time I would give it a try just to see if I could do it.

  18. #18

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    The water in Jim Creek is very low, first time I have not been able to make it to blade lake in a long long time. The hot summer and lack of rain really did a number to the Jim Creek water levels.

    BTW, skybust. I signed your log book in the cabin last summer.

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    Cool how did the cabin look any damage? Havent up there yet this year been out trying to get a moose this is the last week for moose then its on to ducks

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    Quote Originally Posted by AK DUCKMAN View Post
    How heavy of a sneak boat you got. Sounds like you need an Aquapod. As for the 5hp restricktion just paddle across the lake. I woulden't think there would be a problem as long as you don't start it up. Has been a while sence I'v been down to jim lake. Now that you mention it, I do remember it's not boat launch friendly. How close can you get to the water? If I had the time I would give it a try just to see if I could do it.
    I have a foam core marsh boat and a partially finished plywood marsh boat. Both fit the bill for aquapod type duties.

    My sneak boat is 250lb without the motor so it is not very easy to move. The bow section was not built to be winched so I would not try this without making a strap harness of some kind and using rollers.

    The foam core marsh boat was built to be used in our sedge type grass cover and works really well as "layout" type boat like you are now using your A'pod for. However my big belly does not enjoy layout hunting as much as it used to.

    This week I will make some minor repairs to the foamer and see if I can get it out with the kid and the dog.

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