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Thread: Gulkana River Salmon Report

  1. #1
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    Exclamation Gulkana River Salmon Report

    This is the first edition of the Gulkana Report.

    Hi Guys:

    While in Kotzebue I wrote a Blog called the WACH Report which helped folks outside the western Alaska area keep tabs on the movement of caribou in unit 23. The report was very helpful for the crowd that would come to Kotz each fall and also helped in trip planning for many hunters for the following year.

    I will be beginning a new adventure that I will call the Gulkana Report and the focus will be Kind and Red runs on the Gulkana River. I will also take some time to help the folks planning family floats down from Paxon Lake to Sourdough as well.

    Ok lets begin:

    The water levels at the Gulkana River Bridge are very low for this time of year and we have not had much rain and the snow is gone! There are LOTs of snags and sweepers on the lower section of the river so be heads up! This lower water will translate into skinny water for you jet boaters and floaters, but this should cause the runs of Kings and Reds to pile up as they work their way up from the Copper. I neighbor of mine and long time resident/fisherman is down at the bridge every 2 days or so looking for the first silver monsters that are working their way up from Cordova. At this time no fish have been seen and we don't expect to see any real numbers until June 10 or later. The biggest push of Kings normally hit the Gulkana at or around June 20th but lots of guys will be working the eddies by June 5-10 for sure. The best way to fish this river is via raft putting in at Sourdough and floating down to the bridge (about 3 fishing days) or putting in at Sailor's Pit(4 fishing hours) or Poplar Grove (about 6 fishing hours) with both put-ins finishing at the bridge.

    Numbers of Kings? Reds?

    Any ones guess right now but the state is expecting a smaller than normal return of Kings and a very strong run of Reds. Time will tell. I will keep tabs on the sonar counter and the numbers coming out of the BLM counting Tower as the fish begin to work their way into the river.

    Charters in the area are looking at $195+ a day per fisherman and you need to reserve ahead of time. If you need any referrals I an willing to pass on some phone numbers of the guys in the Gakona area. Raft Rentals: Alaska Raft and Kayak offers good quality gear in Anchorage and look up Blue Moose up in Fairbanks as well and there are a few of us here in Gakona/Gulkana who also offer DIY trips as well.

    Good Luck this summer guys and I will try to do a report weekly as we approach the arrival of the Kings and the Reds.

    Walt
    Gulkana River Raft Rentals
    Mile 127.5 of the Richardson
    Right at the Bridge!
    907-822-4290
    Rafts, Canoes and Camps

  2. #2
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    Default Thanks!

    It's good to see someone talking about the Gulkana and even better to have someone go to the effort to provide and publish what I anticipate will be an informative blog. How would you characterize the difficulty of the float between Sourdough and the bridge under "normal" water conditions? I'm an inexperienced floater and don't want to get in over my head. Literally!

  3. #3
    Member BlueMoose's Avatar
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    Default Nice Job Walt

    Thanks for sharing the data Walt I hope you have a bang up season.

    After August you and I as well as Mike and Jen and a couple of others I have in mind need to talk about a couple of BOG things.

    Blue Moose Rafting will not be fishing on the Gulkana this year two in a row but with the season change on the Klutina and added pressure we will just be fishing for fun now and again.

    Again best wishes hopefully we will make it down for a visit in June.

    Best Wishes

    Richard "Moose" Mousseau

  4. #4

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    Where are you taking me fishing then this year Moose?

  5. #5
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by spithappens View Post
    It's good to see someone talking about the Gulkana and even better to have someone go to the effort to provide and publish what I anticipate will be an informative blog. How would you characterize the difficulty of the float between Sourdough and the bridge under "normal" water conditions? I'm an inexperienced floater and don't want to get in over my head. Literally!

    That float down from Sourdough is a great family float with class ! water all the way. The only real danger is sweepers and snags and there are plenty early on. I was floating from Paxon down to Sourdoughs and we were in the Ox bows which can put you to sleep and it did. I was not looking down river and shoved my 14 foot Avon right under a sweeper almost swamping the boat. My partner and I worked our buts off to get unstuck and undamaged. Lesson learned! The rule here is always look down river and give yourself plenty of time to make corrections and most hazards can be avoided.

    The Gulkana is a great family float (- the canyon) and it is a trip that a family can enjoy. Expect crappy weather and bring your fly rod!

    Good Luck!

    Walt
    Gulkana River Raft Rentals
    mile 127.5 on the Richardson
    907-822-4290
    Rafts, Canoes and camps

  6. #6
    Member BlueMoose's Avatar
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    Default Jimmy!!!!!

    Shot me a PM with your visit dates.

    Have a couple of fun things planned including a remote fly in or two.

    Shoot me a note if your up in AK hop in the boat eh!

    We can also talk going down to the B&B on the Kenai and Make Mike oar us around :-)

  7. #7

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    when ya coming up Jim?

    Moose, keep me posted on the bog issues if you think of it.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueMoose View Post
    Shot me a PM with your visit dates.

    Have a couple of fun things planned including a remote fly in or two.

    Shoot me a note if your up in AK hop in the boat eh!

    We can also talk going down to the B&B on the Kenai and Make Mike oar us around :-)
    Moose

    spent the last two weeks in Alaska. Sitting in SLC en route to OKC now. Coming up July 8-17 with the kiddos and girlfriend. I have an RV reserved for the week. Figured I would spend a few days down on the Kenai. Girlfriend is superstoked about doing some fishing. I'm having to balance what is doable for us big kids and the little ones. I'll send you an email in a week from work. I extended my leave through Memorial Day.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by TradBow View Post
    when ya coming up Jim?

    Moose, keep me posted on the bog issues if you think of it.
    dan

    as stated above was just there. Coming up in july w/ the kids and gf and then again in august for a Brooks range combo hunt: sheep, bou and grizz. How are you?

  10. #10

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    I'm great.....drop me a line, if nothing else we'll have to grab a beer or dinner, has been to long man!

  11. #11

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    Does anyone know if any of the Paxson area lakes are open yet. Paxson, Summit or Tangle?

  12. #12

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    Good thread,what are the season changes for the Klutina that BlueMoose is talking about?

  13. #13
    Member ret25yo's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Otto View Post
    Does anyone know if any of the Paxson area lakes are open yet. Paxson, Summit or Tangle?

    not even close!! I drove it yesterday...

    If you cant stand behind the troops in Iraq.. Feel free to stand in front of them.

  14. #14

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    Any news on Paxon lake? We are hoping to float the Gulkana from Paxon lake to Sourdough starting June 12. What are the chances the lake will be ice free by then?

  15. #15
    Member BlueMoose's Avatar
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    Default

    Bacially there is no Kign fishing on the Klutina till 1 July now and the season has been extended for the purpose of targeting the larger fish through August 10th. This has added addtional pressure on the Gulkana from mem weekend till the opening of King Season on the Klutina. I am sure the intended purpose was not to put added pressure on the Gulkana but it has.


    All flowing waters downstream of the ADF&G marker at Mile 19.2 Klutina Lake Road, to the AD F&G marker at Mile 13.0 Klutina Lake Road:

    King salmon: Open season July 1–July 31

    All flowing waters downstream of ADF&G marker at Mile 13.0 Klutina Lake Road:

    King salmon: Open season July 1–August 10
    All other lakes:

    All flowing waters upstream of ADF&G marker at Mile 19.2 Klutina Lake Road, to Klutina Lake:

    King salmon: Open season July 1–July 19

  16. #16
    Member flyfishak30's Avatar
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    Default R/V park?

    Is there a R/V park on the river where a guy could put his raft in and do they offer rides back up from the bridge?

    flyfishak30

  17. #17

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    I wouldn't get too excited about fishing the Gulkana for kings just yet, last year it closed pretty much before it opened, and hardly any fish came through . If this year is even close to as bad as last year, I dont expect there will be any King fishing in the Gulkana again this year.

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    Default

    Another one wondering if Paxon lake is free of ice yet. We're planning a float trip with the scouts next week.

  19. #19
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    Paxon is clear!
    -Its better to die on your feet, than to live on your knees.
    -Put some excitment between your legs, ride a polaris!
    -Local 907 Riders Union
    http://www.youtube.com/user/AKMackdaddy?feature=mhee

  20. #20
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    Default past weekend

    Floated from mile 140 to the bridge, did not see any signs of kings in the river yet, Grayling were everywhere an willing to bite. Water is low, very few sweepers, but some extremely shallow areas, be prepared to walk the rafts.

    Keep an eye on the big rocks just below the surface. Easy to hang up with the low water. 6 more inches would be nice, 12 more would be great. Not looking good for water this year. Reds will be fun as they stack up in the holes.

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