This is the first edition of the Gulkana Report.
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.
Gulkana River Raft Rentals
Mile 127.5 of the Richardson
Right at the Bridge!
Rafts, Canoes and Camps