Fishing report: Silvers slow to show, reds still running

On Wednesday afternoon, a handful of anglers were enjoying the sunshine at Cunningham Park on Beaver Loop Road in Kenai, waiting for silver salmon to… Continue reading

This March 16, 2015  photo shows grilled coho salmon with sesame celery relish  in Concord, NH. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

Firm flesh, bright flavor with silver salmon

Coho, also known as “silver” salmon for its bright silver sides, offers a lighter, more distinctly flavored fish than king or sockeye. Coho’s orange-red flesh… Continue reading

This March 16, 2015  photo shows grilled coho salmon with sesame celery relish  in Concord, NH. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)
Sockeye salmon returning to Bear Creek are one of those special events in nature that occur every season in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. (Photo courtesy Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)

Refuge Notebook: The Kenai Peninsula rediscovered

Browsing through my grandfather’s stack of In-Fisherman Magazines as a boy was the first time I had ever heard of the Kenai River. At the… Continue reading

Sockeye salmon returning to Bear Creek are one of those special events in nature that occur every season in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. (Photo courtesy Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)

An Outfoor View: Jenna talks habitat

Author’s note: In yet another attempt to teach readers about fish and fishing by baiting them with a steamy romance novel, here’s yet another chapter… Continue reading

In this Aug. 3, 2014, photo, a grizzly bear walks through a back country campsite in Montana's Glacier National Park. Glacier National Park officials recommend that hikers stay in groups on all of the Glacier trails and make noise in grizzly country. (Doug Kelley/The Spokesman-Review via AP) COEUR D'ALENE PRESS OUT; MANDATORY CREDIT

Follow bear safety rules to prevent trouble for everybody

SPOKANE, Wash. — Following guidelines for camping in grizzly country can prevent trouble for everyone, including the bears.A Spokane man experienced a good case in… Continue reading

In this Aug. 3, 2014, photo, a grizzly bear walks through a back country campsite in Montana's Glacier National Park. Glacier National Park officials recommend that hikers stay in groups on all of the Glacier trails and make noise in grizzly country. (Doug Kelley/The Spokesman-Review via AP) COEUR D'ALENE PRESS OUT; MANDATORY CREDIT
This July 19, 2014 photo shows typical terrain in the Bear Lake Corridor Trails area in Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado. The corridor offers good day hikes in the eastern side of the park, using the town of Estes Park as a gateway. The park is launching a yearlong celebration of its centennial in September, and fall is a nice time to visit. (AP Photo/Lindsey Tanner)

Rocky Mountain National Park offers spectacular views

ESTES PARK, Colo. — No adjectives can do Rocky Mountain National Park justice. The jagged snow-draped peaks, rocky tundra, green valleys, and roaring waterfalls render… Continue reading

This July 19, 2014 photo shows typical terrain in the Bear Lake Corridor Trails area in Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado. The corridor offers good day hikes in the eastern side of the park, using the town of Estes Park as a gateway. The park is launching a yearlong celebration of its centennial in September, and fall is a nice time to visit. (AP Photo/Lindsey Tanner)

Last week of July means reds, kings

It’s the final week of July, and on the central Kenai Peninsula, that means sockeye and king salmon.The Alaska Department of Fish and Game on… Continue reading

Alex Douthit, Salmon Buster's Guide Service Douthit dropped a group of personal use fishermen off at Cunningham Park and was waiting for another to arrive.  "People seem more interested in king salmon than reds," he said. "Today is my last dipnet fishing trip for the year."

Anglers come from near and far to fish the Kenai

Tom Pelfrey, WasillaPelfrey, and a group were dragging a cooler of sockeye salmon up the shore toward Cunningham Park after a guided personal use fishing… Continue reading

Alex Douthit, Salmon Buster's Guide Service Douthit dropped a group of personal use fishermen off at Cunningham Park and was waiting for another to arrive.  "People seem more interested in king salmon than reds," he said. "Today is my last dipnet fishing trip for the year."
A beautiful postcard shot of the boat launch at the Upper Skilak Campground, one of many lakes with boat trailer access on the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. (Photo Credit Nick Longobardi/USFWS)

Refuge Notebook: At a loss for what to do? Camping opportunitites galore

Whether you enjoy lounging around listening to a babbling creek in Upper Skilak Campground, watching a colony of beavers collect logs for their lodge on… Continue reading

A beautiful postcard shot of the boat launch at the Upper Skilak Campground, one of many lakes with boat trailer access on the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. (Photo Credit Nick Longobardi/USFWS)
Becca Miathias looks through a refractometer to measure salinity in an ocean water sample taken.

Kachemak Bay tour offers science, sightseeing

All we needed were red knit caps.On a recent weekday tour of Kachemak Bay, I felt like one of the crew of Jacques Cousteau’s famous… Continue reading

Becca Miathias looks through a refractometer to measure salinity in an ocean water sample taken.
The beach pea (Lathyrus maritimus) is one of two pea species on the Kenai Peninsula. The other species is vetchling, Lathyrus palustris, and neither is known to be poisonous. Vetchling is found in wooded areas while the beach pea is found along the shore. Photo by Jenny Archis/USFWS

Refuge Notebook: Eat your peas – just not the ones you find in the wild

The story “Into the Wild” is one of the most wildly popular Alaskan stories out there. Whether you follow the story with a sense of… Continue reading

The beach pea (Lathyrus maritimus) is one of two pea species on the Kenai Peninsula. The other species is vetchling, Lathyrus palustris, and neither is known to be poisonous. Vetchling is found in wooded areas while the beach pea is found along the shore. Photo by Jenny Archis/USFWS
A self portrait shows Josh Mumm hiking on a ridge near the Yentan River. (Photo courtesy Josh Mumm via the Homer News)

Homer man wins Wilderness Classic

In the grueling Alaska Mountain Wilderness Classic, where contestants race unsupported through the wildest country of Alaska, just finishing can be an honor. But when… Continue reading

A self portrait shows Josh Mumm hiking on a ridge near the Yentan River. (Photo courtesy Josh Mumm via the Homer News)

Fishing report: King fishing improves, sockeyes building slowly

There are more salmon streaming into central Kenai Peninsula streams, but anglers may have to put in some time to catch their limits.Sonar estimates from… Continue reading

Chris DesOrmeaux shared this photo of Jon "Beaver" Madison living off the land, with the comment "fishing so good it's almost unbelievable."
Chris DesOrmeaux shared this photo of Jon "Beaver" Madison living off the land, with the comment "fishing so good it's almost unbelievable."
European bird cherry (Prunus padus) in blossom in a Kasilof wetland, June 1, 2015.

Refuge Notebook: Bird cherries on the Kenai – a preview

Earlier this summer as I walked the beach north of the Kasilof River mouth, I did a double-take as I passed a shrub that seemed… Continue reading

European bird cherry (Prunus padus) in blossom in a Kasilof wetland, June 1, 2015.

An Outdoor View: Fish wars

Seduced by the word “fish,” I watched the reality TV show “Alaska Fish Wars” on National Geographic Channel last year. The most exciting part of… Continue reading

Students Ella Keenan, Laurel Rand-Lewis and Eric Van Dam listen as Polly Bass, kneeling, introduces them to a variety of alpine flora. (Photo by Mary Catharine Martin/Juneau Empire)

JIRPers start 68th summer on Juneau Icefield

JUNEAU ICEFIELD, CAMP 17 — At the Juneau Icefield Research Program’s Camp 17 this week, 32 students — and more faculty — got comfortable on… Continue reading

Students Ella Keenan, Laurel Rand-Lewis and Eric Van Dam listen as Polly Bass, kneeling, introduces them to a variety of alpine flora. (Photo by Mary Catharine Martin/Juneau Empire)
Photo by Rashah McChesney/Peninsula Clarion King salmon fishermen ride upriver during the first day of fishing on the late run of Kenai River king salmon on Wednesday July 1, 2015 near Kenai, Alaska.

Fishing report: Slow start for kings, but plenty of other options

The Kenai River opened to sport fishing for king salmon on Wednesday, and despite restrictions on bait and the area open to king fishing, a… Continue reading

Photo by Rashah McChesney/Peninsula Clarion King salmon fishermen ride upriver during the first day of fishing on the late run of Kenai River king salmon on Wednesday July 1, 2015 near Kenai, Alaska.
Once spruce-covered hills in the Deep Creek watershed on the Kenai Peninsula were converted to extensive bluejoint grasslands in the aftermath of a spruce bark beetle outbreak and the 2007 Caribou Hills Fire.  (Photo courtesy Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)

Refuge Notebook: Common grass has uncommon attributes

Perhaps the most common plant on the Kenai Peninsula is Calamagrostis canadensis, the bluejoint reedgrass. This perennial grass grows in dense colonies near the coast… Continue reading

Once spruce-covered hills in the Deep Creek watershed on the Kenai Peninsula were converted to extensive bluejoint grasslands in the aftermath of a spruce bark beetle outbreak and the 2007 Caribou Hills Fire.  (Photo courtesy Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)

An Outdoor View: Tourist trap

Wikipedia defines “tourist trap” as “an establishment, or group of establishments, that has been created or re-purposed with the aim of attracting tourists and their… Continue reading