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KTVA News Comes to Yakutat

Last week,  Yakutat had our first “scheduled” cruise ship stop-over.  Yakutat has a rick “anti-cruise ship” history,  so this was a big step for us to look at diversifying our economy.  It was a small ship with only 90 passengers,  which is probably the kind of ship we want to attract,  as opposed to the mega-ships that cruise the waters of Alaska and dump thousands of people all at once onto Juneau’s downtown.

As part of this “historic” visit (although I consider the explorers Vancouver,  Bering,  La Perouse,  etc. to have been just early foreign-owned cruise ships…),  CBS affiliate news reporter Heather Hintze came down for the event and made several reports about and around Yakutat.  On the KTVA web site,  they have four clips up and available for viewing.  The last one is from last night,  but is only a teaser for a longer report focused on our dear ol’ hangar…  The full-length one isn’t posted yet,  but if they put it up,  I’ll post a link (if it isn’t too embarrassing).

Enjoy a little taste of Yakutat from the Anchorage TV news:

This one covers the cruise ship visit and what they experienced:

A delightful interview with Jennie Wheeler,  with her small craft and fur shop – if you haven’t been to Jennie’s store on your visit to Yakutat,  YOU MUST!

Covering our slow start to the sockeye run and how dire it is financially for the community:

The teaser for the segment on the Alaska Warbird Museum (with a disturbing close-up of my head):

Heather was a delight to have,  had a great sense of humor and genuine interest in our community.  She did a nice job on these reports.  I believe she has a few more recorded that will come out over the next couple weeks.


Suspect in 20-year-old Yakutat murder sentenced

By Associated Press 6:41 PM July 20, 2014

A man who long had been the suspect in the murder of a woman in Yakutat nearly 20 years ago has been sentenced to prison.

The Juneau Empire reports Sunday that Robert D. Kowalski was sentenced to serve 40 years in prison on Friday. Kowalski was convicted of killing 39-year-old Sandra Perry in 1996, shooting her with a shot gun during a dispute.

During the sentencing trail, Kowalski continued to say the shooting was an accident.

The 53-year-old was only charged with first-and second-degree murder in connection to Perry’s death because another one of his girlfriend’s died in a nearly identical fashion, causing the Yakutat case to be re-opened. Kowalski fatally shot 45-year-old Lorraine Kay Morin in Montana in 2008. Kowalski was convicted of homicide via an Alford Plea for Morin’s death.


Information from: Juneau (Alaska) Empire,

Sockeye Bag Limit Raised to 6 Daily

Beginning at 12:01am Wednesday July 15th,  2015,  the bag and possession limits for sockeye salmon on the Situk River will increase to 6 per day and 12 in possession.  The biological escapement goal for sockeye salmon in the Situk River is between 30,000 and 70,000 fish.  As of July 13th,  2015,  47,176 sockeye salmon have been counted through the Situk River weir.  Average run timing data for sockeye indicates that 40% of the run is still to come and the escapement goal range is projected to be exceeded.

Anglers are reminded that sport fishing for king salmon was closed by Emergency Order #1-KS-H-17-15 effective at 12:01am Saturday July 11th.  King salmon caught while fishing for other species may not be removed from the water and must be released immediately.

For further information,  please call the Division of Sport Fish,  Alaska Department of Fish and Game at (907)784-3222.

Situk Sockeye EO 2015 in PDF

A Rash of Articles…

Reporter Mary Catharine Martin of the Capital City Weekly came to Yakutat a few weeks ago and interviewed a few of our locals (including me…).  She has been writing a series of articles about Yakutat,  appearing in the Capital City Weekly newspaper,  along with appearing online at their sister paper Juneau Empire.  There have been 5 major articles over the past month.  If you would like to check them out,  here they are…  Click on the linked headline to read the full articles:

The first one was the article about the Alaska Warbird Museum and my interview:

Wednesday, April 29, 2015
Story last updated at 4/29/2015 – 1:41 pm
Honoring Alaska’s WWII history

In an old Army Air Force hangar in Yakutat, Bob Miller has boxes of World War II-era letters from soldiers to loved ones. He has more than 400 posters exhorting the reader to “do your part,” or fight for “freedom from fear,” or remember December 7. He has Disney drawings from the war…

Wednesday, April 29, 2015
Story last updated at 4/29/2015 – 1:41 pm
A Day in the Life of: Kadashan 

Yakutat – After he graduated from Mount Edgecumbe High School in Sitka, Bertrand J. Adams Sr., who writes under his Tlingit name, Kadashan, didn’t want to go to college…

Wednesday, May 06, 2015
Story last updated at 5/6/2015 – 5:23 pm
Cruisin’ into Yakutat

For the hundred or so years cruise ships have been visiting Southeast Alaska, the residents of Yakutat haven’t been so sure about them. But this summer, prompted by a declining population and economy, the town will come out in force to welcome two shiploads of tourists…

Wednesday, May 06, 2015
Story last updated at 5/6/2015 – 5:23 pm
Hunting for art

Tlingit artist Jeremiah James always knew he wasn’t meant for the 9-5 working life. What he didn’t know is that hunting could be a part of how he makes his living…

Wednesday, May 13, 2015
Story last updated at 5/13/2015 – 10:10 am
Fifth annual tern festival to welcome Aleutian terns

YAKUTAT – Some humans may think of Yakutat as out-of-the-way, but it’s right where one of the world’s largest known breeding colonies of Aleutian terns wants to be. So for the fifth year, organizers of the Yakutat Tern Festival are hoping people will join terns in making Yakutat a destination. “The idea was around for many years to do some sort of wildlife birding festival,” said Yakutat-based wildlife biologist Susan Oehlers. “There’s definitely interest in the community for having folks come in to do more than just fish, but there’s not that awareness…. We’re looking at it from the ecotourism standpoint, and to support the local economy, which is suffering.”…

Nice to have someone else writing about Yakutat now!  I don’t know how many more articles she has on her laptop,  but I’ll keep you posted if any more pop up…


2015 Situk King Closure


The Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced today that the Situk River drainage is closed to the retention of king salmon 20 inches or greater in length, beginning 12:01 a.m., Friday, May 8.  King salmon 20 inches or greater in length that are caught, may not be removed from the water and must be released immediately.

The Situk River drainage is managed for a biological escapement goal of 450 to 1,050 large king salmon. In 2010-2012 the Situk River king salmon goal was not achieved. In 2013 and 2014 the goal was achieved after restrictions were implemented in the sport and commercial fisheries.  The 2015 pre-season forecast is for a total run of approximately 600 large king salmon.  Given recent fishery and harvest trends, a run of that size is not expected to achieve the escapement goal without these pre-season fishery restrictions.

For further information, anglers should call the Division of Sport Fish, at (907) 784-3222.

Read the full Emergency Order text here:
2015 Situk King Closure

King salmon stacked up in the 9 Mile Pool

King salmon stacked up in the 9 Mile Pool

From the Juneau Empire:

Yakutat to welcome first-ever cruise ships this year

Posted: May 6, 2015 - 12:02am

For the hundred or so years cruise ships have been visiting Southeast Alaska, the residents of Yakutat haven’t been so sure about them. But this summer, prompted by a declining population and economy, the town will come out in force to welcome two shiploads of tourists.

“Historically Yakutat has been unwelcoming to cruise lines, and so this is a big step,” said Yakutat Chamber of Commerce President and city assistant finance director Martha Indreland. “I think Yakutat has gotten into an economic crisis, so to speak, and the community is desperate enough now to be open-minded.”...

*****READ MORE*****

From the Juneau Empire:

Catching 'chromers' in Yakutat

Situk River home to half the steelhead caught in Alaska

Posted: May 1, 2015 - 12:01am

To fly to Yakutat in April or early May is to become acquainted with a certain fishy sense of anticipation.

I’d never been to Yakutat before, nor had I fly fished; I’d just practiced casting in the Glacier Elementary School gym with the very patient and skilled president of Juneau’s Raincountry Flyfishers, Tony Soltys.

But to visit Yakutat when the steelhead are running requires at least an attempt to catch one. So I borrowed a fly rod from my boyfriend Bjorn’s brother, Reid, and called around ahead of time to see if there was someone in Yakutat who might be willing to show me the basics.

As I passed through security at the Juneau airport, one of the TSA workers came around the scanner with the fly rod (in its case) in hand.

“Going to Yakutat?” he asked, and handed it to me. “I didn’t want it to get banged up.”

*****READ MORE*****

Yakutat Airport Government Building for Sale

I was contacted by the GSA today about a bid sale of the old Weather Balloon Shed at the Yakutat airport.  The info is as follows with photos of the building at the bottom:

Government Building For Sale
No underlying land
Upper Air Inflation Shelter
Yakutat Airport
Sealed Bid Sale Bid Opening 5/13/15


Point of Contact: Andrew Schwartz
Disposal Realty Specialist
General Services Administration
Auburn Field Office (9P2PZF)
400 15th St. SW, Room 1161
Auburn, WA 98001
(253) 931-7556
Fax (253) 931 7554

GSA starmark

The location of the building at the PAYA airport

The location of the building at the PAYA airport

The photo he sent me with the airport ramp in the background

The photo he sent me with the airport ramp in the background

Northwest elevation

Northwest elevation – these are my photos…

Northeast elevation from Alsek Air hangar is kind of brushy

Northeast elevation from Alsek Air hangar is kind of brushy

Southwest elevation

Southwest elevation

Southeast elevation from the ramp

Southeast elevation from the ramp

The building is being offered for sale as is/where is,  with no claim to the land it sits on…  If you want to utilize the land,  that would require a State DOT lease like I have for the WWII hangar.  Or,  you could move the structure…  I always wanted to sneak onto the roof and paint the ball as a basketball,  or golf ball…  You could do Laser Floyd inside the dome…  Just some possible ideas for it…  :-)

From the Juneau Empire:

Craig women top defending Gold Medal champ Yakutat 60-50

Posted: March 17, 2015 - 11:26pm

The Craig women made their return to the Gold Medal Basketball Tournament worth the travel difficulties, earning a 60-50 win over defending Womens Bracket champion Yakutat in a late game on Tuesday night during the Juneau Lions Club 69th Annual gathering.
A lightning storm near Prince of Wales meant rescheduling their early game to a later contest but Craig showed no ill effects as Vanessa James scored a game-high 28 points, including 15 in the first half.
James helped Craig take an early 13-6 advantage while Yakutat relied on Lorena Williams to find the rim.
After a Craig basket by Tina Steffan, Yakutat’s Katrina Fraker hit a bucket and a deep jumper to pull her team to within two points, 15-13.
Craig then went on an 18-6 run to close out the half with a 33-19 lead.
“I think we need to do a little more conditioning,” Fraker said. “Move the ball a little more. Set some more screens. Our defense was a little off. Our shooting was a little off but I think that next game we will get better looks.”
Craig’s Steffan opened the second half with a bucket but Yakutat answered with a score by Fraker and two by Kim Buller to close within nine points, 35-26.
James pushed the lead out to 12 with her second deep shot of the night.
“I felt like in the second half we out-hustled the other team,” James said. “We fought for the 50-50 balls and ripped down more rebounds like we needed to.”

*****READ MORE*****

From the Juneau Empire:

Yakutat eliminates Filco 70-60 in C Bracket action

Posted: March 17, 2015 - 7:44pm  |  Updated: March 18, 2015 - 12:11am

Damien Long scored a game-high 20 points to lead Yakutat over Filco 70-60 in an C Bracket elimination game at the Juneau Lions Club 69th Annual Gold Medal Basketball Tournament on Tuesday.

“The key for us was our big guys definitely played a good game,” Yakutat coach Greg Indreland said. “We were moving the ball and getting more familiarity with each other. It is hard when your players are spread out all over the nation.”

Yakutat used deep shots from Jerry Riddlington and Jimmy Jensen in the first half to open up the inside game for Long, who scored 13 of his game-high 20 points in the first half.

“That was fun,” Yakutat’s Robbie Eklund said. “We just need to keep playing. We haven’t played together very much. The more we keep playing the better we get. We have some big guys that are pretty fun to play with. I am just glad to be here.”

Eklund scored nine of his 12 game points in the first half and provided defensive pressure through the backcourt.

Yakutat led 39-27 at the half and opened the second stanza on a 15-7 run to lead by 20 points, 54-34, at the 13:05 mark.

*****READ MORE*****


11 10 14CommunityOpenHouse.jpg (201975 bytes)


Yakutat Native Son Elected Lt. Governor of Alaska

40,000 ballots remain to be counted as of 11/6/14.  The Alaska races won't be official till the vote is certified on November 28th...  US Postmarked absentee ballot deadline is November 14th,  Foreighn postmarked deadline is November 19th.

The team of Walker/Mallott received the most votes last night to eclipse incumbent Sean Parnell and his running mate Dan Sullivan.  Byron Mallott grew up in Yakutat,  served as Yakutat’s mayor for a time,  before moving on to mayor of Juneau and various boards throughout the state.  The Walker/Mallott ticket received 3,165 more votes than Parnell/Sullivan for a 47.83% to 46.42% result.  224,541 total votes were cast in the Governor race.  This year’s gubernatorial race was packed with controversy,  when Mallott chose to step out of the Governor race to join forces with Independent Bill Walker and unite the anti-Parnell vote.  The ploy apparently worked.

 In other races,  Representative Don Young cruised to an easy reelection,  while Senator Mark Begich lost his reelection effort to Dan Sullivan.  Oddly,  there were two different people named Dan Sullivan running for election in Alaska – GOP Lt. Governor candidate as well as our GOP US Senator-elect.

State Senate District P (including Yakutat) reelected Gary Stevens for another term with over 72% of the vote.  House District 32 (including Yakutat) elected Louise Stutes by nearly 57%.

All three ballot measures passed.  One to legalize and tax marijuana scraped by with a margin of just 9,000 votes.  Oddly,  more than 2,100 people left that blank without voting…  The measure to increase the State minimum wage passed easily,  along with the restrictions on mining in the Bristol Bay drainage.  Both of those should do wonders for stimulating Alaska’s economy (sarc off).

For complete Alaska vote totals,  go here:

(sarc back on again…) PS.  For those looking to invent conflict,  the common colloquialism “native son” has nothing to do with ethnicity.  Get a life.

Election Update

October 23rd,  2014
Bob Miller

Download the official vote count tally here:

2014 Signed Canvass Committee Report in PDF

Official Winners

I don’t have the total count numbers,  but these are the official winners…

Mayor – Cindy Bremner

Assembly – Ralph WolfeCharlie Russell and Paul Harding (with absentee ballots counted,  Paul overtook Daryl James by just three votes)

School Board – Gloria Wolfe and Sean Langhelm

Proposition 1 – Yes

Preliminary Election Results

One thing seems to be sure from Yakutat’s local election yesterday – Yakutat Loves their taxes.  Proposition 1 won with 119 votes yes to 57 no.  The “unofficial” election results are in and at least one assembly seat remains too close to call,  with only a single vote separating the #3 and #4 vote getters.

Later tonight,  the Canvass Committee (consisting of several current Assembly members) will meet to open and count the absentee ballots and the election will be certified at the next regular Assembly Meeting on November 6th.  21 absentee and 4 question ballots remain to be counted.  Here are the preliminary vote counts from the in-person vote yesterday:

Cindy Bremner – 128                    David Stone – 46

Ralph Wolfe – 125         Charlie Russell – 99       Daryl James (incumbent) – 77
Paul Harding – 76          Reginald Krkovich – 65

School Board:
Gloria Wolfe – 158        Sean Langhelm – 84

Proposition 1:
Yes – 119                       No – 57

There were 250 ballots printed,  206 issued,  181 regular ballots cast,  4 questioned ballots,  21 absentee ballots received,  with 44 ballots not used.  With 21 absentee ballots to be counted tonight and only 12 votes separating the 3rd and 5th place candidates,  any of the three bottom Assembly candidates could receive enough votes to take the third seat.


2014 Yakutat Forelands Moose Season Closed West of Dangerous

For Immediate Release:
October 13, 2014
Contact: Lee Benson
(907) 784-3359

Federal Subsistence Board News Release:

Federal Subsistence Season for Moose Closed in a Portion of Unit 5A

The Yakutat District Ranger, under authority delegated by the Federal Subsistence Board, is closing the 2014 Federal subsistence moose season for that portion of Unit 5A west of the Dangerous River, except the Nunatak Bench, effective October 13 2014 at 11:59 p.m.

As of October 12, 2014, the reported harvest of bull moose taken by Federal hunters from the portion of Unit 5A west of the Dangerous River, except Nunatak Bench, reached 25 bulls. The quota for the 2014 moose season in Unit 5A, except Nunatak Bench, is 55 bulls, with no more than 25 of those bulls to be taken from the area west of the Dangerous River. Hunters are reminded that the remainder of Game Management Unit 5A east of the Dangerous River will remain open for moose hunting through November 15, 2014, or until the overall harvest of bull moose in Unit 5A, except Nunatak Bench, reaches 55 bulls.

For additional information, contact U.S. Forest Service Yakutat District Ranger Lee Benson at (907) 784-3359.



2014 Moose Harvest Quota

Bull Moose Harvest Quota Established for Unit 5A, except Nunatak Bench

Release Date: Sep 5, 2014   Yakutat, Alaska
USDA Forest Service News Release

Contact(s): Lee Benson

The Yakutat District Ranger, under authority delegated by the Federal Subsistence Board, has established the moose harvest quota for Unit 5A, except the Nunatak Bench, at 55 bulls. No more than 25 of those bulls are to be taken from the area west of the Dangerous River. This quota is effective for the 2014 Federal Subsistence moose season, which is October 8 to November 15, 2014. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) has established the same quota in Unit 5A for the State season, effective October 15, extending through the end of the State season on November 15. The State and Federal quotas are not cumulative.

Recent surveys by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game and the U.S. Forest Service indicate a low bull:cow ratio, particularly on the western forelands. The Yakutat area received heavy snowfall during the 2011-2012 winter, which may have impacted the overall population. The harvest quota has been established to improve the bull:cow ratio and increase productivity of the herd, thereby providing long-term subsistence harvest opportunities.

Please be aware of recent land status changes in the Yakutat area. Specifically, National Forest lands within the Nine Township area are now designated as Federal Lands open to subsistence hunting. Updated maps are available at the Alaska Department of Fish and Game and U.S. Forest Service offices in Yakutat.

For additional information, contact U.S. Forest Service Yakutat District Ranger Lee Benson or Wildlife Biologist Susan Oehlers at 907-784-3359.


Democrat and independent merge campaigns in Alaska governor’s race

September 2 at 6:21 PM

The Democratic nominee for governor of Alaska and an independent candidate announced Tuesday that they have merged their campaigns, marking the beginning of an unprecedented political alliance in the state that could put a Republican-held seat in play this fall.

Walker will continue his run for governor and Mallott will become his running mate, the two men announced. Speaking at a press conference in Anchorage, they showered each other with praise, and vowed to pursue the campaign ahead as partners.

"We will work as a team," said Walker. "We will work as a team in the next 60 days. We will work a team in our administration."

The move allows the two candidates, who hold similar views on many issues and have a friendly personal relationship, to combine forces against Gov. Sean Parnell (R). In a three-way race, Mallott and Walker would have competed for many of the same anti-Parnell voters and potentially canceled each other out. The unified ticket applies new pressure on Parnell, who until now has not been viewed as terribly vulnerable.

****READ MORE**** at the Washington Post

Byron Mallott Resigns from Governor’s Race, Changes to Lt. Gov

I have been following the polls through RealClearPolitics,  as we inch closer to our Gubinatorial election in November.  A fascinating year of politics,  with a local Yakutat resident running for Governor on a major party ticket.  As the polls have been evolving over the past few months,  Bill Walker (Republican turned Independent) was increasing his standing mostly at the expense of Byron Mallott (Democrat).  It was announced today that they are joining forces and running on the Independent ticket with Walker taking the Governor spot and Mallott taking the Lieutenant Governor spot.  Either candidate had been trailing sitting Governor Sean Parnell by 15-20 points.

In a nutshell…  Byron has resigned from running for Governor as a Democrat and has signed on to run as Lieutenant Governor on Bill Walker’s Independent ticket.  They are calling it a non-partisan “unity ticket”.  I’ll let you decide if this latest ploy comes across as smart strategy – or desperation…

From the Alaska Dispatch:

Bill Walker, Byron Mallott make ticket for governor official

Richard Mauer     September 2, 2014

Democratic candidate Byron Mallott and independent Bill Walker held a press conference at the Hotel Captain Cook on Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014 to announce they would join forces to run for governor on a shared ticket, with Mallott as Walker’s lieutenant governor. Bob Hallinen / Alaska Dispatch News

Their arms raised and hands clasped in a victory embrace, Bill Walker and his new running mate, Byron Mallott, declared at a rally and press conference Tuesday that their race for Alaska’s chief executive would be non-partisan and inclusive.

Holding the event in the symbolic Hotel Captain Cook — the place where the late Gov. Wally Hickel, the hotel’s developer, endorsed Walker’s failed bid for governor as a Republican in 2010 — Walker and Mallott declared that Alaska was hurting and they were the team to rescue it.

To get this far, the former opponents will need the Division of Elections to put Mallott’s name on Walker’s independent ticket. Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell said early Tuesday afternoon that the division has received the paperwork from Walker’s campaign but hadn’t yet decided how to proceed. While state law governs how parties can replace candidates who leave a partisan ticket, the law is silent when it comes to candidates like Walker who petitioned to be placed on the ballot.

****READ MORE**** at the Alaska Dispatch for the rest of the article


Byron Mallott Struggles

Yakutat resident Byron Mallott continues to struggle with name recognition in his effort to unseat Alaska Governor Sean Parnell.  In a poll released this week from Public Policy Polling,  a Democrat-leaning polling firm based in Raleigh,  NC,  Parnell leads the three-way race for reelection by 15 points,  over Mallott and 17 points over Independent Bill Walker.

“In the race for Governor incumbent Sean Parnell looks to be safe, leading Democrat Byron Mallott and Independent Bill Walker 37/22/20. Both challengers appear to be suffering from a lack of name recognition. More than half the electorate, 58%, are unsure of what they think of Mallott. Walker faces a similar battle, with 49% of voters having no opinion about him.”

The PPP poll surveyed 673 Alaskan voters between July 31st and August 3rd.  This is the third consecutive PPP poll showing Parnell leading Mallott and Walker by double digits.  No other major polling firms have waded into the Alaska Gubernatorial race so far this cycle.  It would appear that the gradual improvement in Walker’s poll numbers come at the expense of Mallott,  even though Walker is a Republican-turned Independent and potential spoiler candidate.  Real Clear Politics rates the Governor race as “Safe Republican”.

Real Clear Politics Tracking of the 2014 Alaska Governor Race

Real Clear Politics Tracking of the 2014 Alaska Governor Race

For details,  here is the PPP news release:

Results of this same poll also show Democrat Senator Begich holding a 4 point lead over his closest challenger Dan Sullivan,  indicating that the election in November may have a split ticket in Alaska.

The RCP average shows a very close race between Incumbent Begich and Sullivan

The RCP average shows a very close race between Incumbent Begich and Sullivan

RCP’s Alaska Governor Race tracking page:

RCP’s Alaska Senate Race tracking page:



Special Meeting to Interview City Manager Candidates
July 29th,  2014
Bob Miller

The Yakutat Borough Assembly will be holding interviews with two finalist candidates for City/Borough Manager.  The first interview will be conducted tomorrow July 30th at 6pm,  at the High School Auditorium for Jon Erickson.  The public is encouraged to attend and participate in the process,  however expect that the assembly will enter Executive Session to discuss the personal and financial details of the candidate following the public portion of the meeting.

A final decision will not be made at this meeting.  A second interview with additional finalist David Richards is scheduled to take place August 14th.  Details of that meeting will be posted when final arrangements have been made.

Yakutat has been operating without a Borough Manager since July 1st,  when the previous manager Frank (Skip) Ryman's resignation took effect.  At the last assembly meeting,  the assembly voted to have current billing clerk Martha Indreland to act as Interim Manager until the permanent position is officially filled.

Another Round of Earthquakes

Yakutat was rocked again this morning,  by several strong earthquakes centered about 70 miles west of Gustavus between Lituya Bay and Cape Spencer.  Right around 3am,  residents were rolled out of their sleep by what seemed to be a quake lasting more than two minutes,  with two good sized jolts mixed in the middle.  According to the USGS,  they were two separate quakes measuring 4.7 and 5.9 beginning 44 seconds and 2 km apart.  7 more aftershocks between 4.5 and 3.8 hit the same area throughout the next two hours.

Yakutat had several earthquakes near Mt St Elias last week of a similar magnitude and frequency of aftershocks.  The largest was a 6.0,  93 km to the NNW.  Today’s quakes occurred 195 miles to the ESE of Yakutat.

The two recent earthquake events on either side of Yakutat

The two recent earthquake events on either side of Yakutat

The isolated coast as we approach Cape Spencer

I happened to take a photo of the location of the quakes just yesterday!


Special Budget Work Session and Rescheduled Borough Assembly Meeting
Bob Miller
July 23rd,  2014

Tonight,  the City and Borough Assembly is holding a spoecial work session to discuss the 2015 budget.  The meeting will take place at the CBY Office starting at 5:30pm Wednesday July 23rd.

The regular assembly meeting was rescheduled for Thursday July 24th at 7pm alaso at the CBY Office.  There will be two Public Hearings - ORD 14-574 covers the 2015 budget and ORD 14-575 would ammend the borough code relating to the multi-purpose dock and boat harbor facilities.

Resolution 14-220 is also being considered to dramatically increase the moorage rates at the boat harbor and establish additional fees and rates for parking,  use of the TraveLift,  building stall rent and per-boat launch fees.

Both meetings are open to the public and the public is encouraged to come and voice your support,  concerns and/or opposition.

19 Earthquakes This Morning

Yakutat has been rocked repeatedly this morning by a series of earthquakes centered right around Mt St Elias.  The largest quake hit just before 4am registering a 6.0,  centered 95km NNW of Yakutat and 14.8km deep.  Smaller aftershocks continue to rock the area up to 3.5 in magnitude.

No damage has been reported and no tsunami warning was issued.

Location of today's earthquake activity around Yakutat

Location of today’s earthquake activity around Yakutat


2014 Sockeye Limit Increased!

From the Alaska Department of Fish and Game…


The Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced today that the bag and possession limits for sockeye salmon on the Situk River will be increased to 6 per day, 12 in possession effective 12:01 a.m. Thursday, July 17, 2014. The biological escapement goal for sockeye salmon in the Situk River is 30,000 to 70,000 fish.  As of July 14, 2014 more than 52,000 sockeye salmon have been counted through the Situk River weir. Average run timing data for sockeye salmon on the Situk River indicates that 40% of the run is still to come, and the escapement goal range will be exceeded.  Increasing the sockeye salmon bag and possession limits will provide additional opportunity to harvest fish surplus to the escapement goal without putting achievement of the escapement goal in jeopardy.

Click Here to download PDF of ADF&G EO

ADF&G Emergency Order increasing the sockeye bag limit on the Situk River to 6 fish daily

ADF&G Emergency Order increasing the sockeye bag limit on the Situk River to 6 fish daily


4th of July Schedule for Yakutat

4th of July Events.jpg (683273 bytes)

Saturday Markets Return to the Hangar

Our first Saturday Market of the season will be this coming Saturday June 28th,  2014.  Here is the summer schedule:

- June 28th
- July 26th
- August 30th

This week,  we will have Rainier Cherries,  Green Beans,  Full-flats of Strawberries and 1/2 flats of Raspberries.  Just a warning on the strawberries – they are “over-ripe” and may be ready for jam…

As always,  tables are free.  Bring garage-sale items,  crafts,  baked goods and anything else you want to sell.

Noon to 2pm – don’t be late…

We have a tenant in the back of the hangar this month,  so we are planning to have the market enter through the door mid-building along the side – midway between the fly shop and the back corner.  Park at the back along the road,  or in the grass field as usual.

See you this weekend!


Sponsored by the Yakutat History Foundation and the Alaska Warbird Museum

Saturday Market Schedule PDF


Yakutat Assembly Corner

Bob Miller
June 18th,  2014

The website is about to evolve into something more...  I have wanted it to me a good source of information and news for the community of Yakutat,  however I have not been able to dedicate the time necessary to create the content and redesign the site into a more user-friendly site.  That is about to change.

Since the Monti Bay Times stopped publishing the weekly newspaper a few years ago,  we have been in dire need of a good source of news.  The Yakutat School began publishing a newspaper that held great promise,  however budget cuts to the school have put the publication of the paper on hold indefinitely.

Beginning this fall,  a new local weekly newspaper will appear.  Stay tuned!  If you are interested in subscribing,  or contributing,  feel free to contact me and I will get your info to the right person.  The paper will not be mine,  so rest assured you may see an unbiased newspaper...

In the meantime,  I have wanted to publically post all of the non-confidential assembly paperwork that we receive.  Look for the link to the left called ASSEMBLY CORNER,  for all attachments the Yakutat Borough Assembly receives that are NOT confidential,  so you THE PUBLIC have an opportunity to see what your local government is up to.

Alaska to get More Payment in Lieu of Taxes this Year

Bob Miller
June 18th,  2014

The Federal Government recognizes that local municipalities throughout Alaska can not tax Federal lands within their boundaries and set up the "PILT" (payment in lieu of taxes" program to help offset revenue losses.  PILT payments help local governments carry out vital services suck as firefighting,  piloce,  schools and road construction.

For the 2014 fiscal year,  Alaska communities are expected to receive a total of $28.5 million dollars from the PILT program - an increase of $2 million over 2013.  Yakutat's share of the PILT payments will be $114,369.

For additional background on the PILT program from the US Department of the Interior,  visit the DOI.GOV web site HERE.  There is also a brief article on KTOO's website HERE with a listing of communities and their expected payments (including Yakutat).

Actual year payment from PILT to Yakutat for 2012 was $107,265 and $108,371 in 2013.

Campaign reports missing laptop with donor info

The Associated Press
May 30, 2014

— The campaign of Alaska gubernatorial candidate Byron Mallott is reporting that a laptop computer with donor financial information is missing.

KTOO-radio ( reports the laptop was determined to be missing Wednesday night from the Anchorage campaign office.

Campaign adviser Bruce Botelho (boh-TEL'-oh) says the laptop had been in a restricted area at the back of the office.

He says a back door had not been properly latched and someone may have come in while volunteers were in the front, public area.

The computer contained copies of checks and credit card numbers with addresses and security codes.

The computer was shut down and password protected.

The campaign on Thursday sent letters to more than a thousand contributors recommending they monitor their accounts.

Anchorage police are investigating the incident.

Information from: KTOO-FM,

Scientific American

Wave and Tidal Power Hit First in Remote Communities

The still nascent technology to generate electricity from the sea may find its first economical uses far from the grid

If you ask the people of Yakutat, Alaska, the best part about living in this small, remote town is the breathtaking natural beauty. The worst part is the price of electricity.

Yakutat's 1.5-megawatt electrical system is completely reliant on diesel fuel, which is delivered four times per year at a price of $4.50 per gallon. In recent years, the community's electricity prices have been consistently between 50 and 60 cents per kilowatt-hour. In February, according to the Department of Energy, the average residential user in the United States paid less than 12 cents per kWh.

High energy costs are threatening the very existence of the community, said Scott Newlun, general manager of Yakutat's municipally owned power plant. People have been living in Yakutat for thousands of years. But in the last two decades the population has dropped by half -- from 1,200 to 600 -- as residents have been forced to move somewhere with more job opportunities and a lower cost of living.

To try to reverse this trend, Newlun started looking for alternative ways to power his town. Having worked for years as a commercial fisherman, Newlun decided to look to the ocean for a solution and started to explore the possibility of powering Yakutat with wave and tidal power, known collectively as marine hydrokinetic (MHK) energy.

Yakutat is now in line to become home to one of the first remote marine energy projects in the United States, in partnership with Resolute Marine Energy. According to Bill Staby, founder and CEO of the Boston-based company, Resolute's novel wave energy converters are expected to cut Yakutat’s electricity costs in half.

Technologies being born
The MHK industry as a whole is still in the development stages, with companies eagerly looking to get their technologies in the water in places where they're economically viable. In the United States, companies have been struggling to deploy projects in the face of funding shortages and an arduous regulatory process (ClimateWire, May 8).

One of the first places wave and tidal projects are likely to take off in the United States is Alaska, where high energy costs help make the economic case for capital-intensive renewable power.

"There are dozens of communities in Alaska that are cut off from any kind of regional or interstate grid, and they all have extremely high electricity costs, which has quite a profound social impact on the people that live there," Staby said.

According to the Alaska Energy Authority, there are nearly 200 communities in the state without access to the main power grid. Last year, these towns received $39.7 million in public subsidies to keep their lights on and businesses operating.

Before deploying a wave energy converter in Yakutat, Resolute has to complete another six to nine months of site research, including environmental and engineering studies, in order to comply with a patchwork of U.S. regulations. The company plans to deploy a demonstration project next fall and will seek to get it commercially licensed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

The Portland, Maine-based tidal company Ocean Renewable Power Co. (ORPC) is also looking to tap into the Alaska market. In 2012, the company built one of North America's first grid-connected tidal generator projects in the waters off Eastport, Maine, and plans to deploy a scaled-down version of that technology to serve remote, off-grid communities.

ORPC currently has a FERC permit to test an ocean project in Cook Inlet and two-month permit to test a generator this summer in the Kvichak River that will power the town of Igiugig in southwest Alaska. The 25-kilowatt project is expected to meet half of the 70-person community's electricity needs.

"All around the world there are literally hundreds of millions of people who live in these communities who either have no electricity or are paying very high costs because of the price of diesel," said Chris Sauer, president and CEO of ORPC.

In Igiugig, diesel costs nearly $8 per gallon, which translates to about 80 cents per kWh. Towns in countries across Africa and in Latin America lack electricity altogether. According to Sean O'Neill, president of the U.S. trade group Ocean Renewable Energy Coalition, developing communities outside the United States represent the MHK industry's largest commercial opportunity.

*****READ MORE*****

2014 Situk King Closure

Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced an Emergency Order closing the Situk River to retention of King Salmon 20 inches or greater effective May 14th,  2014.  Any kings caught must be immediately released and may not be removed from the water for photos.

ADF&G is expecting a return of 826 King Salmon in the 2014 season.  The Situk River is managed for an escapement goal between 450 and 1,050 large kings.  In recent years,  the Department has closed the Situk to even targeting kings for catch-and-release,  but this restriction has been lifted for the start of the 2014 season.

Read the complete EO PDF HERE



Parnell Leads Mallott by 10 Points
-Bob Miller

Public Policy Polling (a Democrat-leaning polling firm based in North Carolina) shows Republican Governor Sean Parnell leading his Democratic challenger Byron Mallott by 10 points.  This is a three-way race with Republican-turned-independent Bill Walker trailing another 10 points behind Mallott.

Parnell – 37%
Mallott – 27%
Walker – 17%

The same poll shows incumbent Democrat Senator Mark Begich with a 5 point lead over his best Republican challenger Dan Sullivan.  Sullivan now holds a 14 point lead over his next closest challenger for the Republican nomination Mead Treadwell.

You can read the complete press release from PPP HERE.


Tsunami Warning System Test Scheduled for Friday April 18th at Noon

Bob Miller
April 14th,  2014

The Yakutat Police Department will be conducting a series of emergency Tsunami broadcast tests on Friday,  April 18th,  2014 at 12:00 noon.  The test will start with a test announcement,  quickly followed by a "real" tsunami announcement and finish with another test announcement.  This series of test announcements will help the department better evaluate the tsunami warning system.

A previous test coordinated with state and federal agencies took place two weeks ago on the anniversary of the 1964 Good Friday Earthquake.  Several comments were received at the April 3rd assembly meeting,  indicating the previous warning test did not reach vulnerable parts of town.

This test on April 18th will be more extensive,  as an effort to discover the reach of our tsunami warning system and what efforts need to be made to ensure populated areas of Yakutat can effectively hear warnings in the future,  in the event of a real catastrophe.

If you have any questions,  or concerns regarding your ability to hear and recognize the warning system from your home or business,  contact the Public Safety Department at (907)784-3206.



Eulachon are In the Situk and Ahrnklin Rivers

Bob Miller
March 19th,  2014

Eulachon1.JPG (97039 bytes)The Eulachon (aka Hooligan) have returned for their annual spawning migration to local Yakutat area rivers and estuaries.  Three large schools of the smelt species are in the Situk between the old Forest Service cabin site and the train trestle ruins.  Large flocks of gulls and eagles are working the Ahrnklin Inlet indicating there are plenty more Eulachon coming into fresh water this week.

The 2013 Eulachon returns in the Yakutat area were tremendous,  with many local elders saying it was the best run they could remember.  Other southeast Alaska areas found weak runs,  while Yakutat was experiencing a bounty of fish.

Eulachon2.JPG (182831 bytes)Eulachon are a popular subsistence food in many coastal communities.  Dip-netting is the most common method of harvesting the small fish.  They are weak swimmers,  so children find catching them by hand to be a fun and easy activity.

Common methods of cooking Eulachon are to pan fry the fish in oil with a light breading,  or canning for later use.  They have a very high fat content,  providing a rich calorie-dense food in the late winter and early spring,  before other traditional foods are available.

Eulachon differ from their cousin Capelin,  although both are species of Smelt.  Capelin spawn on saltwater beaches where moderate wave activity occurs,  instead of in freshwater streams and estuaries.  Capelin are smaller than Eulachon and usually spawn a couple weeks to a month earlier than our local Eulachon populations.


Yakutat Will Have Another Air Taxi This Spring

Bob Miller
March 19th,  2014

The name Gulf Air returns to Yakutat this spring!  Kip Fanning is in the final stages of getting FAA approval for a Part 135 air charter company,  reviving the old Gulf Air name for his new charter business.  This means we will have additional options for flying through the summer,  as well as services during the fall hunt and spring steelhead seasons.

The FAA paperwork has not been completed yet,  so the new company can not start promoting their services.  In the meantime,  if you have any questions,  call Situk Leasing at (907)784-3316.


The "new" Gulf Air Cessna 185 arrived in Yakutat in mid-March,  2014

Gulf Air Taxi's Gull Wing and 180 from back in 1974.  My dad and  Jerry Wells strapped our Jon Boat to the belly of that Gull Wing and flew it to the Italio...  I remember climbing atop the pile of fish boxes at the end of the season to fly to town without seatbelts (let alone seats) and safety stuff like that.  My how things have changed since I was 4 or 5...

The "old" Gulf Air fleet circa 1974




Three Additional Job Postings for City and Borough of Yakutat, AK

In addition to the City Manager post,  the City and Borough of Yakutat will be hiring three additional positions:

  • Planning and Zoning Compliance Officer
  • Supervisor of Public Works and Facilities
  • Property Maintenance Manager

Planning and Zoning Compliance Officer – Salary between $43,700 and $62,300 depending on qualifications

Supervisor of Public Works and Facilities - Salary between $36,400 and $51,000

Property Maintenance Manager - Salary between $49,000 and $69,000

2014 JOBS available CBY_Page_1

Planning and Zoning Compliance Officer (page 1) – click image for a larger (more readable) version

2014 JOBS available CBY_Page_2

Planning and Zoning Compliance Officer (page 2)


2014 JOBS available CBY_Page_3

Supervisor of Public Works and Facilities

2014 JOBS available CBY_Page_4

Property Maintenance Manager

…and a reposting of the Borough Manager position – this position will remain open for another month,  as we look at as many candidates as possible.

Now hiring!  Yakutat Borough Manager - click the above link to download the PDF Job Notice

Now hiring! Yakutat Borough Manager – click the above link to download the PDF Job Notice



Public Policy Polling Results for Alaska Governor Race
February 4th,  2014
Bob Miller

With Yakutat resident Byron Mallot in the race for Alaska Governor,  a lot fo attention is being paid to our little coastal village.  Public Policy Polling (PPP),  a Democrat leaning national polling organization based in Raleigh,  NC has released their first state-wide survey for the 2014 Alaska election cycle.

For the upcoming gubernatorial race,  incumbent Republican Sean Parnell leads Democrat Byron Mallott and Independent Bill Walker.  Parnell receives 41%,  Mallott gets 25% and Walker receives 16%.  The poll also covers Alaska's upcoming Senate and House elections.

For complete polling results,  click here:  PPP Alaska Races


Massive Avalanch Closes Richardson Highway to Valdez

On Friday January 24th,  2014,  a series of large snow avalanches near Valdez,  Alaska closed the only road access.  The Richardson Highway is the only road access to the town of approximately 4,100 people.  As the highway passes through the Keystone Canyon,  wet, heavy snow in the mountainous region collapsed,  blocking the highway and the Lowe River.  Water has backed up over the highway for 1,500 feet behind the dam of ice and snow.

Photo courtesy of State of Alaska DOT&PF

Photo courtesy of State of Alaska DOT&PF

Another major avalanche blocks the Richardson Highway as it passes through Thompson Canyon  making the route impassable from 12 Mile to 42 Mile.  Removal of the blockages is problematic due to water backed up behind the dams.  A breakthrough could send a wall of water through the canyon destroying everything in its path.  State of Alaska DOT is still evaluating the situation and determining if the remaining mountainsides are stable.

Photo courtesy of State of Alaska DOT&PF

Photo courtesy of State of Alaska DOT&PF



Census Info from ADN

Alaska’s population grows to over 736,000

The Associated Press – January 19, 2014

JUNEAU, Alaska — Alaska gained more than 26,000 residents between April 2010 and July 2013, bringing the total population to roughly 736,400.

Estimates from the state labor department show 26 of Alaska’s 29 boroughs and census areas grew. State demographer Eddie Hunsinger says notable among the statistics was the municipality of Anchorage topping 300,000 residents.

Anchorage also saw the largest population growth, adding more than 9,300 people. That was followed by the Matanuska-Susitna Borough, Fairbanks North Star Borough, City and Borough of Juneau and Kenai Peninsula Borough.

Among the areas that lost residents, the Bristol Bay Borough lost the most, more than 60 residents. The City and Borough of Yakutat lost 40 and the Denali Borough, just over 30.

The department says Alaska’s overall growth outpaced that of the U.S. as a whole.

Article Source:

For my own number crunching…

Bristol Bay Borough is larger than Yakutat with 937 residents compared to our 622.  Comparing apples to apples,  both Bristol Bay and Yakutat declined by 6%.  Denali is larger than the other two combined,  so their 1,795 population is only a 2% drop.  Yakutat has been consistently ranking #1 for fastest shrinking population in Alaska and although we lost 20 people less than Bristol Bay,  we are actually tied for 1st place by percentage drop…

We’re #1!  We’re #1!  Woo,  hoo!  Go Yakutat!

How can a community this incredible be disappearing?  By choice!

How can a community this incredible be disappearing? By choice.


Yakutat Winter Flooding

The ground was already saturated from the previous two storms last week.  Flow on the Situk had hit 1,700 CFS on the 18th,  then had dropped down to about 600,  back up to 750 and then…


We just barely missed hitting 4,000 CFS.  We just barely hit 3,000 twice in 2013,  so this is one heck of a way to start the new year!  What does 4,000 CFS look like?

Panorama from 9 Mile Bridge,  standing in line with the boat launch

Panorama from 9 Mile Bridge, standing in line with the boat launch

The water wouldn't actually hit the peak for several more hours.  It'll rise another couple feet to be just shy of hitting the superstructure below the road deck.

The water wouldn’t actually hit the peak for several more hours. It’ll rise another couple feet to be just shy of hitting the superstructure below the road deck.

Water is flowing up into the campground,  with river water up to the bulletin board

Water is flowing up into the campground, with river water up to the bulletin board

This is a LOT of water!  10 inches of rain fell over a 36 hour period according to the 9 Mile gage.  Not quite so much at the Weather Service station at the airport,  but still enough to have the ditches overtop the road to the airport in several places,  flood the school parking lot,  Weather Service parking lot and wash out several places along Forest Highway 10.


10 inches of rain,  but at 48 degrees,  it also washed away most of the remaining snow throughout the forest and along the roads.  This was a GREAT week to be at the cabin!

Thank you USGS for the cool graphs and equipment at 9 Mile.  Thank you Ryan Baker for the great photos of the mess at the bridge!

Road wash-out at 10 Mile Meadow from the air

Road wash-out at 10 Mile Meadow from the air

Fuzzy photo of the boat launch area after the water had dropped to 1600 CFS...  You can see the high water mark flooding the entire parking lot where the ice is gone.

Fuzzy photo of the boat launch area after the water had dropped to 1600 CFS… You can see the high water mark flooding the entire parking lot where the ice is gone.

Tremendous number of trees down along the entire river course.  This will be a big mess to get cleared for the spring steelhead run!

Tremendous number of trees down along the entire river course. This will be a big mess to get cleared for the spring steelhead run!


First Winter Storm Warning of 2013
November 20th,  2013
From the National Weather Service office in Juneau,  Alaska


115 PM AKST WED NOV 20 2013 ...










From the Alaska Dispatch:

Alaska Democratic Party leaders offer Mallott a unanimous endorsement for governor

Eric Christopher Adams



“Unofficial” Election Results

The “unofficial” results from the 2013 local Yakutat City and Borough election are in.  Although there are three “question ballots”,  the margin of victory for all the candidates for Assembly and School Board exceed the question number.

There were a total of 144 ballots cast.  138 in-person voters have been counted,  along with the three question ballots and three absentee ballots.  Results are as follows:

Borough Assembly – two-year terms (3 open seats)
Nick Holcomb                      91
Nelson Inada                        85
Bob Miller                           67
Dave Stone                          51
Jimmi Jensen                       33
Sam Demmert                        1
Bob Pate                                1
Herb Holcomb                       1
Joy Klushkan                          1
Harrison Bergeron                 1
Jimmy Bremner                      1

School Board – One year remaining on a three year term (1 open seat)
Victoria Yvonne Baker       124
Clifford Williams                   1
Casey Mapes                          1
Lisa Nelson                            1

School Board – Three year term (2 open seats)
David Fred Drumm             104
April Newlun                      100
Casey Mapes                          2
Jody Mapes                            1
Starr Sensmeier                      1
Marianne Newlun                   1
Dora Jacobson                        1
David Stone                            1

The election was certified by:
Elizabeth Piccard,  Election Judge
John Williams,  Election Judge
Judy Israelson,  Election Clerk
Ingrid Shodda,  Election Clerk

Unofficial Election Results for Local 2013 Election – Yakutat, Alaska


City and Borough of Yakutat Local Election October 15, 2013 

With Yakutat's local municipal election approaching,  we wanted to announce the current slate of candidates,  as well as include the pertinent Borough codes.

4.04.030  Regular Election -- Date.  On the third Tuesday of October of each year a regular election will be held in the Borough for the election of vacant Borough offices and the determination of such other matters as may be placed on the ballot.













4.20.040  Ballots -- Form

     A.   A ballot shall consist of a list of candidates and issues to be decided at the election.

     B.   The title of the office, and "Vote for no more than (the number of offices to be filled)" shall precede the list of candidates.

     C.   Under the title of each office and below the printed names of the candidates, there shall be printed blank lines for write-in candidates equal to the number of offices to be filled.

4.04.080  Who is Declared Elected.

     A.  In a Borough election, the top vote-getting candidate for the office of Mayor, or for the unexpired term of a specific School Board or Borough Assembly vacancy shall be declared elected, whether or not any candidate receives greater than forty percent of the votes cast for that office.

Here is a posted flier from the bulletin boards around town.  Consider that if you do not like ANY candidate,  you have the ability to write-in a better selection.  Here is but one example:

Three Yakutat Assembly Openings Attract ONE (1) Candidate

The opportunity to declare a candidacy for assembly ends tomorrow and so far,  only one candidate has filed his name at the Yakutat Borough office.  There are three open seats on the Yakutat Assembly,  all three are two-year terms.

There are also three open seats on the Yakutat School Board,  with two declared candidates as of 4pm Wednesday.  The declaration period ends at 5pm Thursday,  September 26th,  2013.

Three (3) Borough Assembly Members                                 2 Year Terms

1 – Nick Holcomb

One (1) School Board Member –                                                1 Year remaining in a 3 Year Term  remainder of unexpired term

1 – Yvonne Baker

Two (2) School Board Members                                                3 Year Terms

1 – David Drumm

The City and Borough of Yakutat local election will be held on October 15th,  2013.  The polling location has changed this year to the Public Safety Building in the EMS Training Room.

Notice of Election 2013

Sport Fishermen Cross the Line on Native Lands
Bob Miller - September 17th,  2013

Aggressive sport fishermen along the Situk River Drainage hassled the land owner on his private property.  Law Enforcement and the Yakutat Tlingit Tribe became involved with the dispute.  Due to the controversy,  they will now be enforcing "no trespassing" laws on the private lands and allotments around the Yakutat area.  This incudes the Situk River,  Lost River,  Tawah Creek and Ankau Saltchucks.

Situk Allotment trespass sign.jpg (309874 bytes)

Please respect signs and markers.  Trespassers will be prosecuted for violations of the law on private lands.  All land below navigable water and land below the mean high tide line (of 9.6 feet) is State of Alaska land.  The vast majority of land along the Situk River falls under Forest Service jurisdiction.  The limited private inholdings can easily be avoided using the Forest Service's designated trail system at the Lower Landing.

Two recent articles covering the announcement of Byron Mallott running for Alaska Governor in 2014:

Byron Mallott Jumps Into Governor’s Race

By | September 3, 2013 - 5:27 pm


(Casey Kelly/KTOO)

(Casey Kelly/KTOO)

The field for governor just got a more crowded. Byron Mallott says he plans to take on Sean Parnell as a Democrat.

Mallott is a familiar face in Alaska politics. He’s served as mayor of both Juneau and Yakutat. He was the first commissioner of the Department of Community and Regional Affairs. He’s headed the Sealaska Corporation, and directed the Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation.

While Mallott still hasn’t filed the paperwork needed to run, he declared his candidacy on Monday, in an interview with the Alaska Dispatch. There had been some speculation that he might follow his fellow candidate’s Bill Walker’s lead and run as an independent. Instead, Mallott wants to earn the Democratic nomination.

That means he could face off against State Senator Hollis French in a party primary. French hasn’t officially committed to entering the race, but he’s announced he exploring a run and he’s registered with the state as a candidate. French says Mallott’s announcement shouldn’t affect his final decision on the issue.

“I’ve never been one to try to arm-twist other candidates into getting in or out of the race. I think this is a good development.”

Mallott could not be reached for comment for this story.

From the following website:

The second article is from the Alaska Dispatch:

Byron Mallott to run for Alaska governor

Alex DeMarban
Byron Mallott, shown here in 2011 during his time as a senior policy fellow at the First Alaskans Institute, has announced his intention to run for governor of Alaska.
Jill Burke photo


Before the average Alaskan was born 34 years ago, Byron Mallott had already served as a mayor, a state commissioner and a rising leader at a regional nonprofit corporation in Southeast Alaska. And his career, like the man himself, was still young. His next step will be a run at the state's highest office, as a Democrat.

Now 70 years old, Mallott's résumé includes stints as executive director of the Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation, president of the Alaska Federation of Natives, and a director of the Alaska Public Radio Network, to mention a few stand-out roles.

About the only thing he hasn’t done is run for governor. Until now.

Mallott said in an interview Monday night that he'll gun for the office next year, and will file an official letter of intent to do so in the coming weeks.

Mallott is the lone committed Democrat in a field that so far consists of Republicans Gov. Sean Parnell and oil and gas attorney Bill Walker, who will avoid a Republican primary contest with the governor by running independent of any party.

Democrat Sens. Bill Wielechowski and Hollis French are also exploring the idea.

Mallott, a Tlingit born in Yakutat in Southeast Alaska, said he never set out in life to build a résumé. His decision to run -- after talking with numerous friends and acquaintances -- is based on a sense of public duty. 

"I was born and raised in this state, in a village," he said. "I have held many positions both in public service and government, business, and the nonprofit sector over the years, and I've just come to sense after all of that service that maybe there is something I can give back in a way that moves Alaska down the road in a positive way."

How would he improve Alaska's future? He said he wouldn't discuss policy during a brief phone interview late Labor Day evening, as he was preparing for a trip to the University of Alaska Fairbanks where he's providing input on the creation of a campus park to honor the region's Alaska Native history.

"It's far too early" to discuss policy, he said. "There will be more to come."

Why did he decide to run against Parnell?

"I'm not running against anyone," he said. "I’m running for the office of governor in the belief that we can be a better Alaska, and that there is greater opportunity before us than I think the current leadership on the statewide level -- within the state -- are providing to the people of Alaska."

"But that doesn’t mean I don’t respect Gov. Parnell," Mallott said. "It isn’t about him. It isn’t about me. It’s about trying to figure out a way to move Alaska ahead on a continuing journey to be one of the best places on Earth. It’s as simple as that."

Polls suggest Parnell has relatively solid ratings. He came to power in the afterglow of a golden era in Alaska, with billions of dollars bouncing off the state's walls after former Gov. Sarah Palin hiked taxes on the state's oil producers, then quit early in her term in 2009, leaving open her seat for then-Lt. Gov. Parnell.

Parnell, elected directly to the gubernatorial role in 2010, has avoided controversy by keeping a low profile with limited public appearances and press conferences, while still continuing to satisfy constituencies in part because of the enormous wealth that the 2007 tax hike produced.

But the fiscal picture is rapidly changing. And some opponents such as Walker and possibly French hope Parnell's flagship success -- pushing through a major tax cut in 2013 to spur oil production -- will be his undoing.

State revenue officials say the cut will remove billions of dollars from the Alaska treasury in the coming years, throwing it into severe deficit spending. The tax cut generated surprising opposition in the form of a repeal initiative signed by 51,000 Alaskans, about two-thirds more than the minimum amount needed.

Parnell's campaign manager Jerry Gallagher -- also Parnell's former legislative director -- did not immediately return an email seeking comment about Mallott's decision. But by midday Tuesday, Gallagher replied: "While Governor Parnell continues to work each and every day to increase economic opportunity for Alaskans and strengthen Alaskan families, he looks forward to the 2014 campaign and welcomes others who participate in this process." 

Though no final decision on the repeal initiative has been made -- state election workers have spent weeks sifting through the petition booklets -- it appears the measure will be on the ballot during the primary election next August.

And in November, Mallott, Walker and Parnell could wind up facing off.

Despite Mallott's extensive public roles -- including serving as mayor of both Yakutat and Juneau -- he'll have to work to build statewide name recognition. But his gift for speaking and his penetrating views on a range of topics could quickly attract attention. 

"I'll be the youngest 70-year-old you’ll ever see in a race," Mallott said. 

French said Mallott's announcement doesn't change his current plans as a potential candidate. French just booked a trip to the Alaska Federation of Natives annual convention in Fairbanks in October, where he'll continue to seek feedback on a run.

"I'm still doing my exploratory work, talking to people around the state," French said. "Byron is an excellent candidate."

But French said he'll meet with Mallott soon. "He and I have scheduled a coffee in the not too distant future," French said. 

Contact Alex DeMarban at alex(at)

From the following website:

Forest Highway 10 Washed Out

The road to the Dangerous River and Harlequin Lake has washed out at Miller Creek.  All three culverts have eroded due to heavy flood waters.  6 people (and two dogs) are reported to be stranded on the opposite side of the 15-foot washout.

Heavy rains continue to fall,  after two straight days of stormy weather.  Winds have been exceeding 50 knots throughout much of Saturday,  with approximately 8 inches of rain falling through the two-day event.  Rain is expected to continue throughout the rest of the weekend:

Tonight: Rain…heavy at times. Lows around 51. East wind 10 to 20 mph with gusts to 45 mph in exposed locations. Gusts will taper off after midnight.

Sunday: Rain…heavy at times. Highs around 57. Southeast wind 5 to 15 mph becoming southwest in the morning.

Sunday Night: Numerous showers…diminishing through the night. Patchy fog late. Lows around 48. West wind 5 mph in the evening becoming light and variable.

There is significant flooding in the rivers throughout the region.  The Situk River flow gage is currently reading 2,250 cubic feet per second and rising.  Water threatens to overtop the Situk Lower Landing road at this time.



Situk Coho Bag Limit Increased!

The State of Alaska Department of Fish and Game announced that they are raising the silver salmon (coho) bag limit to 4 fish per day on the Situk River drainage.  The limit increase takes effect at 12:01am Wednesday September 4th,  2013.  Here is the ADF&G press release:

Situk River Coho Increase

Two press releases from the City and Borough of Yakutat,  regarding the 2013 elections:

October 15th, 2013 Local Elections for Yakutat

Two press releases from the City and Borough of Yakutat this week regarding the October 15th,  2013 local elections…  1) The official polling place has moved from the City offices to the Public Safety Building.  2) Three City Assembly seats will be open,  as well as three School Board seats.  The election will be held on the third Tuesday of October (October 15th,  2013).

CBY change in Polling Place 2013 Notice of Election 2013

See you on election day!

Power company notified me this morning and scheduled a power outage Friday, July 12, 2013:

What:         Power Outage

When:        TOMORROW – Friday, July 12th

Time:         1:30 pm to 3:30

Area:           City Feed: from the Clinic and all of down town

Areas NOT effected: Yakutat Seafood, Airport and West Addition area

If you have any questions please contact Scott Newlun, General Manager at Yakutat Power -784-3242



Sockeye Salmon Bag Limit Increased to 6 Fish!

Effective Wednesday July 3rd,  2013,  the daily bag limit for sockeye salmon on the Situk River has been increased to 6 fish per day,  according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.  Anglers may now retain twice the regular daily limit while fishing the Situk River.  The Lost River and Ahrnklin River (including the Ahrnklin Inlet) remain at 3 fish per daily limit.  Other rivers and streams along the Yakutat coast (including the Italio,  Akwe and East Rivers) have an established daily limit of 6 sockeye salmon per day and remain unchanged.


As of midnight July 2nd,  the official sockeye escapement count on the Situk Weir has exceeded 58,000 mature sockeye salmon.  The minimum escapement goal of 40,000 has been exceeded significantly,  allowing Fish and Game biologists to consider the increase in daily bag limit for the 2013 season.

It is generally considered that Sockeye salmon have a primary age-class of 5 years.  The 5-year parent year on the Situk River was the only year in the Situk’s history not to exceed the minimum escapement goal of 40,000 fish.  The total count in 2008 was only 22,522 sockeye,  missing the goal by a tremendous margin.  The forecasted expectation for the Situk’s sockeye run was low,  however the returns in 2013 have been exceedingly good thus far.

Comparative graph for 2008 and 2013

Comparative graph for 2008 and 2013

Even with the dismal parent-year return,  the ocean survival conditions for those that hatched in 2008 could have overcome the poor numbers.  Also,  due to flooding and stormy weather in Yakutat during the summer of 2008,  the Situk weir was removed three weeks earlier than usual.  It did appear however that the vast majority of the sockeye run had already returned and late arrivals would have been minimal.

Feeders on zoo plankton and invertebrates, sockeye will hit small sparse flies that are dead-drifted in fresh water

Feeders on zoo plankton and invertebrates, sockeye will hit small sparse flies that are dead-drifted in fresh water

Although the sockeye run is going strong and showing all signs of a healthy run,  the Situk King Salmon run continues to be closed to the retention of all fish larger than 20 inches.  Any questions regarding to closures can be directed to Brian Marston at the local State of Alaska Department of Fish and Game office.

Sockeye Emergency Order:

King Emergency Order:

So simple,  even a child can do it - providing you are using actual sockeye flies and simulating what their actual food does...



Yakutat Saturday Market – June 29th, 2013

We’ll be having the first of our Saturday Markets at the hangar this Saturday,  June 29th.  We did this in 2010 to moderate success,  but having it every Saturday was hard to maintain enthusiasm.  This year,  we’ll be holding one at the end of each month through the summer.  Come on out if you are in town!

Saturday June 29th:

* We have fresh Bing Cherries from Washington in 2lb clam packs
* Blueberries in 2lb clam packs
* Seedless watermelon from who knows where

Other people have committed to bring:

* Fresh organic grain
* Locally hand-made soaps
* Local Jewelry
* Local Crafts
* Garage-sale Items
* Locally grown eggs

Open for business from 1pm to 3pm at the back end of the hangar.  If you want a table (AKA a sheet of plywood),  they are free and unlimited.  Just show up early and we’ll set one up for you.  Inside if rainy,  outside if sunny (or both inside and outside).

I’ll have the hangar renovation plans out and available,  if you are interested on the renovation and timeline for completion.  Also,  info on the Yak-tat KWAAN BT-13B salvage and restoration plan.

Next Saturday Market scheduled for July 27th,  2013.  I’d expect to have Raspberries and Blackberries by then,  depending on what is good.

Sponsored by the Alaska Warbird Museum

Alaska Warbird Museum Logo



Rainstorm Hits Yakutat, Closes Road to Situk River

May 5th,  2013
By Bob Miller

Following this weekend's big storm,  the lower road to the Situk Lower Landing is CLOSED!  There is a 6 foot by 6 foot wash-out,  with the rut about a foot deep.  The whole wash-out area is very soft and NOT RECOMMENDED for crossing.  Last night,  Fred the Taxi Guy went through to pick up a group at 4pm and with his big high 4-wheel drive truck,  he barely made it through.

DOT is waiting for the water to recede,  so they can do the needed repairs.  Please don't harass DOT...  they are trying to get this repaired and the more phone calls they have to field,  the less resources they will have to fix the problem...

I would expect there to be a fix by tomorrow,  since the rains have subsided and tomorrow is expected to be sunny.  That'll help try things out.  As of today,  piling mud on the wash-out wouldn't be a productive use of DOT's time.

CFS dropped 500 points overnight,  but is still showing 1,710 right now (2:30pm AK time).  That is a drop of nearly 700 CFS since the leak yesterday,  but it will take another day or two before the river even comes close to being fishable.

But...  that group Fred salvaged were able to catch 8 steelhead as the flow went from 1,000 to 1,800 CFS on Friday...  I think they were the only ones with lines in the water that day...

The Situk River gauge recorded a top flow rate Saturday May 4th of 2,380 Cubic Feet per Second,  before beginning the slow decline as the rains ebbed.  This was double the historic flow record set for that date,  back in 2006.


ACE Aircraft Crash Near Dillingham,  Alaska

March 29th,  2013

By Bob Miller

Alaska Central Express (ACE) operates the "mail plane",  bringing the boxed mail and Priority Mail to Yakutat.  There has been a backlog of mail waiting in Anchorage bound for Yakutat for the past couple weeks.  We asked the local postmaster about the delay in servicing the community of Yakutat.  She said the delay is due primarily to an ACE accident in the Dillingham area.  On March 8th,  an ACE BEECH 1900C went down approximately 10 miles east of Aleknagik,  Alaska.  The airline lost two of their pilots in the accident.  For a small carrier like ACE,  losing an aircraft and two pilots has a dramatic impact on their operations and I imagine they are coping with the tragedy as best they can.

Here is the preliminary NTSB report:

NTSB Identification: ANC13FA030
Nonscheduled 14 CFR Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter
Accident occurred Friday, March 08, 2013 in Aleknagik, AK
Aircraft: BEECH 1900C, registration: N116AX
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On March 8, 2013, about 0814 Alaska standard time, a twin-engine turboprop Beech 1900C airplane, N116AX, was destroyed when it impacted rising terrain about 10 miles east of Aleknagik, Alaska. The airplane was operated as Flight 51, by Alaska Central Express, Inc., Anchorage, Alaska, as an on-demand cargo flight under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 135. The airline transport certificated captain and the commercial certificated first officer sustained fatal injuries. Instrument meteorological conditions were reported in the area at the time of the accident, and the airplane was operating on an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan. The flight had originally departed Anchorage about 0544, and made a scheduled stop at King Salmon, Alaska, before continuing on to the next scheduled stop, Dillingham, Alaska.

According to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) personnel, as the airplane approached Dillingham, the flight crew requested the RNAV GPS 19 instrument approach to the Dillingham Airport about 0757 from controllers at the Anchorage Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC). The ARTCC specialist on duty subsequently granted the request by issuing the clearance, with instructions to proceed direct to the Initial Approach Fix (IAF) to begin the approach, and to maintain an altitude of 2,000 feet or above. A short time later the flight crew requested to enter a holding pattern at the IAF so that they could contact the Flight Service Station (FSS) for a runway conditions report, and the ARTCC specialist granted that request. The ARTCC specialist then made several attempts to contact the aircraft, but was unsuccessful and subsequently lost radar track on the aircraft.

When the airplane failed to arrive at the Dillingham Airport, ARTCC personnel initiated a radio search to see if the airplane had diverted to another airport. Unable to locate the airplane, the FAA issued an alert notice (ALNOT) at 0835. Search personnel from the Alaska State Troopers, Alaska Air National Guard, and the U.S. Coast Guard, along with several volunteer pilots, were dispatched to conduct an extensive search effort.

Rescue personnel aboard an Air National Guard C-130 airplane tracked 406 MHz emergency locater transmitter (ELT) signal to an area of mountainous terrain about 20 miles north of Dillingham, but poor weather prohibited searchers from reaching the site until the next morning. Once the crew of a HH-60G helicopter from the Air National Guard's 210th Air Rescue Squadron, Anchorage, Alaska, reached the steep, snow and ice-covered site, they confirmed that both pilots sustained fatal injuries.

The closest official weather observation station is at the Dillingham Airport. At 0745, an aviation routine weather report (METAR) reported, in part: Wind from 100 degrees (true) at 17 knots with gusts to 30 knots; visibility, 7 statute miles in light rain; clouds and sky condition, 1,500 feet overcast; temperature, 34 degrees F; dew point, 34 degrees F; altimeter, 29.09 inHg.

On March 9, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge, along with an additional NTSB air safety investigator, and an FAA operations inspector from the Anchorage Flight Standards District Office (FSDO), examined the airplane wreckage at the accident site. A comprehensive wreckage examination and layout is pending following recovery efforts.


Airship scheduled to tour Alaska this summer

Published: March 13, 2013 Anchorage Daily News

— Eighty-six years have passed since an airship cruised over Alaska. But a Florida company, Skyship Services Inc., has announced plans to fly a 200-foot-long blimp to Anchorage and demonstrate its capabilities around Alaska this summer.

According to an announcement from state Sen. Lesil McGuire, the Skyship 600 craft will be in Anchorage around the July 4 and return to the Lower 48 in September.

Jesse Logan, a member of McGuire's staff working on the project, said the Senate issued the press release at the request of the Department of Transportation. The department had been approached by the company, which was hoping to spread the word and attract sponsorship for the trip.

"Since (airships) are something we're interested in, we put out the release," Logan said. "We've been interested in this for more than a decade, working with NASA, trying to encourage them to come up with alternate forms of air transportation."

The flight plan calls for a Seattle departure with stops in Vancouver, Port Hardy on the northern tip of Vancouver Is., Ketchikan, Juneau and Yakutat before arriving in Anchorage.

The longest legs in that itinerary will be between Yakutat and Anchorage and between Port Hardy and Ketchikan, about 370 miles for each.

*****  READ MORE  *****


Earthquakes Continue to Rock Yakutat Region
-Bob Miller
November 13th,  2012  9:30am AK

21 moderate sized earthquakes have rocked the area around Yakutat,  Alaska since 11:42am yesterday when a magnitude 6.4 quake rocked buildings in the small coastal village.  Most of the seismic activity centers approximately 150 miles south of Cape Yakataga.  Movement of the plates ranges in depth from 35 miles deep to the surface.  There have been no tsunami warnings issued for any of the quakes so far.

Yakutat is located along a very active subduction zone,  as the Pacific Plate drifts north,  moving under the Alaska Plate.  The actively growing St Elias Mountain Range is the result of these two landmasses colliding,  reaching upwards of 19,600 feet in elevation.  Dramatic tectonic uplift can be seen throughout the topography of the area.

Yakutat is home to some of the largest and most dramatic seismic events in recorded history.  Three massive earthquakes hit the region in early September,  1899,  causing tremendous devastation.  A quake in 1957 redirected rivers and created the largest wave ever recorded on earth in Lituya Bay.  The Lituya Bay wave denuded the forest as high as 1,700 feet above sea level when the hillside on the opposite side of the bay collapsed into the water.

There have been no reports of injuries or damage from this latest series of earthquakes.


Yakutat turns out mayor in favor of challenger

Fourth Southeast borough to elect new mayor this year

Posted: October 17, 2012 - 11:04pm

Yakutat Mayor Dave Stone failed to secure another term in office Tuesday as voters in Alaska’s least-populous borough elected Cindy Bremner as his successor.

Bremner, a former president and chief executive officer of Yak-tat Kwaan, Inc., and a former member of the City and Borough of Yakutat Assembly, captured 104 votes to Stone’s 79 in unofficial Election Night returns.

Stone had no opponent in the race until just before the candidate filing period closed (

“It’s something I’d been thinking about for a little while,” Bremner said Wednesday of running for mayor. She served on the Assembly from 2007 to 2010, but took a break from public office. In the mayoral race this year, she said, “I had hoped there would be other entries, and when there was not, was when I made my final decision to put my name in.”

Bremner identified energy costs almost immediately as a priority she intends to pursue during her two-year term.

*****READ MORE*****

Tongass National Forest Sustainable Cabin Management Program
August 17th,  2012
Susan Jennings - USDA Forest Service

The Tongass National Forest is seeking comment on a proposal to remove nine public recreation use cabins and convert three to shelters due to poor condition, low use, and funding. The twelve cabins are on Admiralty National Monument, and Ketchikan-Misty, Petersburg, Sitka, Wrangell, Thorne Bay, and Yakutat Ranger Districts. (Including Yakutat Ranger District's Square Lake Cabin)

A few of these cabins, are collapsed and beyond repair. Many are dilapidated and have not been on the cabin reservation system for many years. The cabins that were available for rent received very little or no use. After these cabins are removed or converted to shelters, 143 cabins and 43 shelters will remain on the Tongass for public use. 

Because some of the cabins are in Wilderness areas, the Tongass will request approval from the Regional Forester to remove the Wilderness cabins.  If the Regional Forester approvals the proposal, the Secretary of Agriculture will inform the House Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs, and the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the intent to remove public use cabins in Wilderness areas.

More information and maps are available on the internet at:

Sue Jennings
Tongass National Forest


In Search of Tsunami Debris
May 23rd,  2012
Bob Miller

A CNN news crew descended on Yakutat,  Alaska this week to film segments for their cable news program.  They had hoped to find lots of Japanese tsunami debris.  Unfortunately for them,  our beaches look relatively clean.  They did manage to scrounge up a small pile of fishing buoys and a gas can - things that litter our beaches every season - to use as their make-shift studio props.  Watching this segment,  you can only laugh about the exaggeration and hype.  Enjoy a little Yakutat-in-the-News:


DOT Reaches 9 Mile Bridge
April 19th,  2012
Bob Miller

State of Alaska DOT work crews reached the Situk River at 9 Mile Bridge,  11am today.  They have another day of clearing snow from the parking lot and boat launch area before access is completely restored.  Steelheaders can now drive all the way to the bridge and more easily fish the upper river.

A LENGTHY article about Yakutat's snow and the Situk in the Alaska Dispatch,  with WAY TOO MUCH of me in it...

As if the winter of epic snowfall wasn't enough to suffer in coastal Alaska, now comes some really bad news: the lily white fallout is messing with the start of fishing season.

At Yakutat on the Gulf of Alaska coast, the Alaska Department of Transportation is in an all-out war with remnants of Mother Nature's big dump as it tries to open road access to the upper reaches of the fabled Situk River, the most renowned steelhead trout stream in the state. The fishing action on that stream usually starts the first of the month.

Not this year.

"There's a lot of fish in the river, and nobody's really fishing it yet," said Bob Miller, owner of the Situk River Fly Shop. Anglers who'd scheduled trips early have canceled or rescheduled, hoping that snow blockading the river eventually melts.

12 feet of snow on road

Road crews facing 10 to 12 feet of wet, heavy compacted snow covering the road to the bridge across the upper river, some nine miles out of town, have been working almost around the clock for a week, advancing only a half-mile per day. "We haven't had snow like this since 1974 or 1975," said foreman Robert Lekanof.

*****READ MORE*****,0

Alaska Marine Highway - Ferry Openings to Yakutat Available on Stand-by Basis
April 15th,  2012
Bob Miller

The State of Alaska Marine Highway ferry stops in Yakutat twice in April and five times in May this season.  Reservations are extremely limited into and out of Yakutat,  however they do reserve three additional "stand-by" spaces on the elevator exclusively for Yakutat vehicles between Juneau and Whittier.

If you attempt to make a reservation and there is no space available,  you can get on the stand-by list by calling Joanne Mason at (907)465-8818,  or Allison Cheeseman at (907)465-8816.  You must first be rejected for confirmed space,  before calling these lines.  Be advised that "reserved" space on the elevator is not a guarantee of passage.  Availability is at the captain's discretion and the space may be closed due to sea and weather conditions.

This opportunity is limited,  but it does provide Yakutat-bound travelers with an additional option for vehicle transport both into and out of Yakutat.

April 2012 Kennicott Schedule

Alaska Ferry Adventures
800-382-9229   907-235-7099


Email schedule Printer friendly


Aurora | Chenega | Columbia | Fairweather | Kennicott | LeConte | Lituya | Malaspina | Matanuska | Taku | Tustumena





















DEP: 3:00 PM




ARV: 8:00 AM

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Chenega Bay

ARV: 4:00 PM

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ARV: 10:00 AM

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ARV: 5:15 AM

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ARV: 7:45 AM

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ARV: 7:45 PM

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Chenega Bay

ARV: 12:45 PM

DEP: 1:15 PM


ARV: 5:45 PM

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ARV: 7:45 PM

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From: To:


May 2012 Kennicott Schedule

Alaska Ferry Adventures
800-382-9229 907-235-7099


Description: Email schedule Description: Printer friendly


Aurora | Chenega | Columbia | Fairweather | Kennicott | LeConte | Lituya | Malaspina | Matanuska | Taku | Tustumena










ARV: 8:00 AM

DEP: 11:55 AM



ARV: 5:00 AM

DEP: 8:00 AM



ARV: 3:00 AM

DEP: 10:30 AM

Chenega Bay

ARV: 3:00 PM

DEP: 4:00 PM



ARV: 6:00 AM

DEP: 11:55 AM


ARV: 9:00 PM



DEP: 2:00 AM


ARV: 11:00 AM

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DEP: 2:00 AM


ARV: 3:15 AM

DEP: 4:30 AM


ARV: 5:45 AM

DEP: 9:45 AM


ARV: 6:45 PM

DEP: 10:45 PM


Chenega Bay

ARV: 12:45 PM

DEP: 1:15 PM


ARV: 5:45 PM

DEP: 11:45 PM



ARV: 7:45 PM

DEP: 9:00 PM



ARV: 1:00 PM

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ARV: 8:00 AM

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ARV: 8:00 AM

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ARV: 6:00 AM

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ARV: 5:00 AM

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ARV: 6:00 AM

DEP: 10:30 AM

Chenega Bay

ARV: 3:00 PM

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ARV: 6:00 AM

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ARV: 9:00 PM



DEP: 2:00 AM


ARV: 11:00 AM

DEP: 3:00 PM



ARV: 12:00 AM

DEP: 3:45 AM


ARV: 5:00 AM

DEP: 6:15 AM


ARV: 7:30 AM

DEP: 10:45 AM


ARV: 7:45 PM

DEP: 10:45 PM


Chenega Bay

ARV: 12:45 PM

DEP: 1:15 PM


ARV: 5:45 PM

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ARV: 7:45 PM

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ARV: 1:00 PM

DEP: 3:30 PM



ARV: 11:30 AM

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ARV: 8:00 AM

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ARV: 8:00 AM

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ARV: 7:00 AM

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ARV: 5:00 AM

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ARV: 6:00 AM

DEP: 10:30 AM

Chenega Bay

ARV: 3:00 PM

DEP: 4:00 PM


Cold case murder trial pushed to November

Posted: April 8, 2012 - 12:10am

The upcoming spring trial for a re-opened “cold case” was pushed back to this fall.

Juneau Superior Court Judge Louis Menendez this week rescheduled a jury trial for Robert D. Kowalski, 50, to begin in November instead of May.

Kowalski is accused of fatally shooting his girlfriend in a Yakutat lodge 15 years ago. Alaska investigators at the time had ruled the death accidental, but re-opened the case in January 2009 after Kowalski was charged and convicted in the 2008 murder of his girlfriend in Montana.

*****READ MORE*****

Lower Road to Situk River Opens

DOT Changes Goal to 9 Mile
Bob Miller
Date: April 7th,  2012 11:10am AKT

The long-awaited goal of opening road access to the Situk River,  near Yakutat,  Alaska has been partially achieved - weeks later than normal.  Heavier than usual winter snows left more than 10 feet of snow on the roads,  for State of Alaska DOT crews to remove.  Spring steelhead fishermen have been delaying,  or cancelling their fishing trips,  as the start of the season pushed later and later into the prime season due to a lack of river access.

The Situk River is an internationally famous fishing destination,  with the largest wild steelhead run in all of Alaska.  Tens of thousands of sea-run rainbow trout return to the crystal-clear water of the Situk each April and May,  making this remote stream one of the best runs in the world.  The Situk is located approximately 10 miles southeast of Yakutat,  a small village along Alaska's Gulf Coast.  Yakutat's economy is highly dependent on the visiting sport fishermen for its survival and the delay in opening river access has cost the local community dearly in the already troubled economic times of the recession.

DOT crews will now switch their focus to removing snow from Forest Highway 10,  which accesses the Situk River 13.5 miles farther upstream from the recently opened Lower Landing road.  With both access roads open in the near future,  fishermen will be able to launch drift boats to float the river all the way to tidewater at the ocean outlet.  With as much as 12 feet of heavy snow on the upper road,  it will be a difficult challenge to State of Alaska Department of Transportation crews,  working double shifts with bulldozers,  loaders and road grader equipment.  The tremendous difficulty and slow progress the local team experienced while exceeding the capabilities of man and equipment required a second crew to be flown in from other southeast Alaska towns to supplement the exhausted local workers.

It is estimated that Forest Highway 10 will be open for traffic on or around April 24th,  providing Yakutat does not receive any additional snow.  In the meantime,  fishermen can walk the river channel from the Lower Landing road,  or utilize one of the jet-boat authorized guides to access areas of the river farther upstream.  The Yakutat Lodge is also offering access to 9 Mile Bridge on Forest Highway 10 via snow machines until that road opens.

Yakutat Lodge:

Jet-boat Authorized Guides:
Bob Fraker

Frank Deveraux
No Phone Available

Tsunami-tossed boat:  UPDATE!

U.S. Coast Guard sinks Japanese ghost ship
The Associated Press
Thu. Apr. 5 2012 11:19 PM ET

The long, lonely voyage of the Japanese ghost ship is over.

A U.S. Coast Guard cutter unleashed cannon fire on the abandoned 164-foot Ryou-Un Maru on Thursday, ending a journey that began when last year's tsunami dislodged it and set it adrift across the Pacific Ocean.

It sank into waters more than 1,000 feet deep in the Gulf of Alaska, more than 150 miles from land.

The crew pummeled the ghost ship with high explosive ammunition and, soon after, the Ryou-Un Maru burst into flames, began to take on water and list, officials said.

A huge column of smoke could be seen over the gulf.

The Coast Guard warned mariners to stay away, and aviation authorities did the same for pilots. A Coast Guard C-130 plane crew monitored the operation.

In about four hours, the ship vanished into the water, said Chief Petty Officer Kip Wadlow in Juneau.

Officials decided to sink the ship, rather than risk the chance of it running aground or endangering other vessels in the busy shipping lanes between North America and Asia...

Read more:

Tsunami-tossed boat spotted off western Canada

Published March 24, 2012
| Associated Press

A large fishing vessel swept away by the tsunami that devastated Japan last year has been spotted adrift off British Columbia in western Canada.

Jeff Olsson of Victoria's Joint rescue coordination center says an airplane contracted by the government spotted the 50-foot-long vessel recently about 160 miles west of Haida Gwaii, slowly drifting toward shore.

The vessel has been identified as coming from Hokkaido, Japan. Olsson says no one is believed to be aboard and there's no environmental danger.

A maritime warning has been issued because the vessel could pose a navigational hazard.

About 5 million tons of debris were swept into the ocean in March 2011 when a magnitude-9.0 earthquake and tsunami struck Japan.

Read more:


Sick seal near Yakutat shows possible spread of disease
Associated Press
Published: March 7th, 2012 04:22 PM 

Federal scientists said Wednesday that a nearly bald, lethargic seal recovered from the Southeast Alaska coast showed the same symptoms of a disease that sickened ringed seals and Pacific walrus on the state's north coast last year. 

Fishermen last week spotted the seal near Yakutat at the top of the Alaska Panhandle, where it was captured and taken to Anchorage. The seal was determined to be so ill that it was euthanized. 

Believed to be a ringed seal, it suffered symptoms similar to the ones found in 60 dead seals and 75 diseased seals that were discovered along the Beaufort and Chukchi seas of northern and Northwest Alaska beginning in July, according to a National Marine Fisheries Service statement. The areas where the latest animal and the seals were found last year are separated by thousands of miles of water. 

"The seal, determined to be a yearling, exhibited almost total hair loss and nodular, ulcerated scabbed skin sores," said veterinary pathologist Kathy Burek-Huntington, who is part of an international group of experts working to the disease's cause. "These sores are consistent with the disease process we have been seeing in the ice seals in the North Slope and Bering Strait areas." 

Most of the sickened animals were ringed seals but include 11 spotted seals and eight bearded seals, said Julie Speegle, a spokeswoman for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Diseased ringed seals also were found last year in Canada and Russia.

*****Read more*****

January 26, 2012

Sen. Murkowski Welcomes Secure Rural Schools Payments

U.S. Forest Service Receipts Compensate Alaska Communities for Lost Tax Base

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today announced that the U.S. Forest Service is distributing more than $18.1 million to Alaska communities for improvements to public schools, roads and stewardship projects under the Secure Rural Schools program.

The Secure Rural Schools program, which officially expired at the end of last fiscal year, has historically shared revenue from Forest Service timber sales with local governments and schools, including communities in the Tongass and Chugach National Forests. However, since timber sale levels have declined dramatically in recent years, Congress has provided supplemented funding.

Unless the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act is re-authorized these represent the final payments under the program. If not renewed, communities will continue to receive 25 percent payments from the Forest Service’s average receipts from timber harvests and other activities.

Murkowski has co-sponsored a bill (S. 1692) that would extend payments to boroughs, unorganized communities and schools in southeast and southcentral Alaska through 2017.

Murkowski is the ranking member of the Senator Energy and Natural Resource Committee, with oversight of the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management, which are responsible for making these payments to the local governments in Southeast Alaska.

The Forest Service manages 24.3 million acres of public lands in Alaska.

Community payments under the Secure Rural Schools program for 2012 are listed below:


FY 2011 SRS Payment




























For further information, please contact Robert Dillon at 202.224.6977 or or Megan Hermann at 202.224.7875 or

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January 10th,  2011 - Not much else to report on other than weather,  but Cordova seems to have it worse this winter.  Yakutat traditionally holds the Alaska record for most snowfall of any "city" (and I use that term loosely).  This season,  we have been just a degree or two warmer than Cordova,  the next "city" to our northwest up the coast.  We had 7 1/2 feet of snow fall in November,  but December warmed just enough to change Yakutat's precipitation to rain and washed most of that snow away.  We are back to heavy snowfall here,  with a winter storm warning through tomorrow AM.  An additional 16 inches is expected to fall here at sea level.

Here is a news report sent to me today about Cordova's and Nome's winter plight:

Towns Seek Help Weathering Harsh Winter (Even by Alaska's Standards)

Published January 10, 2012  -Associated Press

Residents of two Alaska communities are seeking outside help after an exceptionally harsh winter left one buried in snow and the other iced in and facing a fuel shortage.

Dozens of U.S. National Guard members are helping the fishing town of Cordova dig out from mountains of snow that collapsed roofs, triggered avalanches and trapped some people in homes.

By one count, more than 10 feet of snow has fallen in the town of 2,000 in the last few weeks.

With high winds, more snow and possibly rain in the forecast, responders and local volunteers Monday were trying to shovel out buildings considered most at risk...

Read more:

More exciting news from the National Weather Service:
November 27th,  2011 at 2:47PM AK Standard Time









456 AM AKST TUE NOV 22 2011







pb043798.jpg (92229 bytes)First Major Snow Fall
-Bob Miller  Posted November 4th,  2011

Yakutat received its first major snow fall last night,  with residents waking to about a foot of white fluff.  The forecast was calling for one to three inches overnight,  however at least 10 inches fell in the morning hours.  Snow continues to come down,  but temperatures are warming and it is expected to turn to rain this afternoon.

pb043806.jpg (95102 bytes)This is our first snow event of the season.  With the new road surfaces,  the asphalt along Max Italio Drive is much more slick than the gravel of the past.  Expect problems to develop over the winter months,  as responsibility for snow removal passes from the State Department of Transportation to the City of Yakutat.  Ownership of Max Italio Drive (the old gravel road that curves along the waterfront from the Yakutat Seafoods fish plant to near the Blue Heron Inn) changes now that the road surface has been paved.  With guardrails along the more hazardous sections of the road,  it will be more difficult to remove large amounts of snow.  In the past,  State DOT simply plowed the snow off the cliff with no guardrail in the way.

pb043813.jpg (86604 bytes)Access to the Situk River for the winter steelhead run remains open for vehicles with 4-wheel drive and sufficient clearance.  

From the National Weather Service:






Sorry,  I missed this article in the Juneau Empire from back in September when I was on the river...  Worth going to the Juneau Empire page if only to read the comments... (What an awful headline...  Does this mean they will destroy him?)

Man sentenced for destruction within Glacier Bay National Park

Posted: September 19, 2011 - 5:58pm

Arizona resident Andrew R. Varni, 52, of Phoenix was sentenced by U.S. Magistrate Judge Leslie Longenbaugh on Sept. 15 in Juneau for destruction of natural resources.

Varni was sentenced to pay a fine of $1,685 for his conviction on one count of destruction of natural resources on National Park Service land.

According to information presented to the court by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jack S. Schmidt, Varni is permitted by the National Park Service to operate a seasonal fish camp in Dry Bay within the Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve.

On Aug. 24, 2010, a National Park Service Ranger observed that Varni had cut down 21 large trees and an additional 100 smaller trees on park land near his fish camp. Varni did not have a permit and was not authorized to cut these trees on park lands.



National Weather Service - Coastal Flood Warning
Storm-driven tidal water will "inundate" Situk River fish camps at Strawberry Point and other areas along the Gulf Coast near Yakutat,  Alaska
Tuesday October 25th,  2011

112 PM AKDT TUE OCT 25 2011


Small earthquake strikes near Yakutat

National Weather Service: Quake not expected to generate a tsunami

Posted: September 14, 2011 - 7:11pm | Updated: September 15, 2011 - 12:06am

An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 4.7 struck 70 miles southeast of Yakutat on Wednesday evening, according to a release from the National Weather Service.

The temblor was felt in Juneau, approximately 225 miles southeast of Yakutat.

The quake in Yakutat, which struck at 6:07 p.m., is not expected to generate a tsunami, according to the NWS. Calls to the City and Borough of Yakutat office and the Yakutat Police Department were not answered.

*****READ MORE*****

Men sentenced on wildlife charges

Posted: August 25, 2011 - 10:01pm
Juneau Empire Staff Report

David M. Demers, 56, and Reginald D. Krkovich, 67, both of Yakutat, and Daniel Lee Hertzog, 52, a resident of Pleasant Hill, Mo., were sentenced Wednesday by U.S. District Judge Timothy M. Burgess in Anchorage for illegal brown bear guiding and witness tampering, according to a press release from United States Attorney Karen Loeffler

Demers was sentenced to pay a fine of $5,000, forfeit his hunting rifle and was placed on three years probation with a no hunting condition as well as six months home confinement, for conspiring to violate the Lacey Act and witness tampering.

Krkovich was sentenced to a term of three years probation, no hunting for the three-year term and ordered to pay a fine of $10,000 for a felony violation of the Lacey Act and a felony violation of witness tampering.

Hertzog was sentenced to two years probation, a fine of $10,000, no hunting for two years and forfeiture of the illegally killed bear and his hunting rifle for committing a violation of the Lacey Act...
*****READ MORE***** from the Juneau Empire

And...  same case from the Anchorage Daily News:

Prosecutors: Men sentenced in illegal guide scheme
The Associated Press via Anchorage Daily News

ANCHORAGE, Alaska - The U.S. attorney's office say two Yakutat men have been sentenced on charges related to illegal brown bear guiding.

David M. Demers' sentence includes a fine, three years' probation with no hunting and six months' home confinement for conspiring to violate the Lacey Act and witness tampering. Reginald Krkovich was sentenced to three years' probation with no hunting and a fine for a Lacey Act violation and witness tampering.

Another man, Daniel Lee Hertzog of Pleasant Hill, Mo., was fined, got two years' probation with no hunting and forfeited an illegally killed bear and his rifle for a Lacey Act violation.

Prosecutors say the Yakutat men weren't guides. They say Hertzog took his bear using Krkovich's tag, and Demers and Krkovich tried to get him to not cooperate with authorities...

*****READ MORE*****

An interesting article about the Yakutat Glacier on Harlequin Lake:

Researcher studies the death of Yakutat Glacier
Anchorage Daily News

Yakutat Glacier, near the Alaska town of the same name and flowing from the mountains near the Canada border, calves into a lake as deep as an ocean bay.

The ice field that feeds Yakutat is large enough to cover the five boroughs of New York City. Despite its bulk, the glacier is doomed unless we experience a drastic change in climate.

Barbara Truessel has been on deathwatch for this interesting glacier for the past few years. The graduate student at the University of Alaska Fairbanks' Geophysical Institute has witnessed Yakutat's fade in the short time it takes to earn a college degree.

"It's dramatically falling apart," Truessel said.

Truessel and her adviser, Martin Truffer, along with glaciologists Chris Larsen and Roman Motyka, recently witnessed the fragmenting of the glacier's massive tongue, which coats part of Harlequin Lake.

"The breakup of the floating tongue started last year," Truessel said. "Huge tabular icebergs were floating away from the glacier. We were just lucky to be there to see that."

The glaciologists say the glacier is melting so fast that a few of its lobes will separate from the main ice mass, maybe within a year. Truffer said Yakutat, one of the fastest changing bodies of ice in Alaska, would soon become at least three glaciers...
*****READ MORE*****

Aircraft Crashes into Icy Bay Near Yakutat,  AK
-August 27th,  2011

State Troopers recovered the battered wreckage of a Super Cub from the ocean near Icy Bay,  70 miles west of Yakutat,  Alaska.  Unconfirmed reports are that the plane originated from the Tsiu River,  where the passenger was staying at a lodge for a fishing trip.  They may have intended to land in an effort to pick up some glacier ice from the shoreline of Icy Bay.

One body was recovered,  the passenger.  Efforts to locate the remains of the pilot have not yet been successful.

Further details are unknown at this time.

Road Repaving Nearly Complete
-August 14th,  2011

p8040036.jpg (128589 bytes)The State of Alaska DOT repaving project here in Yakutat is nearing completion - nearly two months ahead of schedule.  Secon Construction removed all old asphalt road surfaces and repaved from the airport to the boat harbor dock.  Max Italio Drive (formerly Bayview Drive) has also been paved from the cannery dock,  past Mallott's General Store,  all the way beyond Blue Heron Inn.  This week,  the painting sub-contractor is finishing the lines,  with new guard railing work to be completed by the end of August.

p8131854.jpg (62443 bytes)This project was expected to take until October to be completed,  however our exceptionally dry summer enabled the contractor to work much faster than anticipated to complete the project early and well under budget.  Yakutat should have a relatively maintenance-free road system for the next 20 years.  Most city-owned roads were not included in this project,  such as Ridge Road,  or the ASHA developments.  Also,  Forest Highway 10 remains unpaved beyond the dump.

Bob Miller

Secon Construction Available for Additonal Work
-July 1st,  2011

Secon Construction,  the contractor resurfacing most of Yakutat's main roads this summer,  is available to pick up additional asphalt paving work in August.  Anyone interested in getting some paving work done should contact Bryce Iverson at (907)784-3590,  or stop by the Secon offices at The Hangar on the second floor.

Costs can be estimated using the following guidelines:
-Square footage of your lot divided 80 square feet per ton at 2" depth = # of tons of asphalt
-Multiply that number by $200 per ton
-Additional grading and base work will cost around $.25 per square foot

If you need assistance to calculate your square footage,  contact Bryce and he can assist.  You must request the work prior to July 5th to ensure extra oil is shipped from Seattle on the next AML barge.

Bob Miller

Losses Continue in Yakutat,  Alaska
-July 1st,  2011

In the past week,  there have been two additional deaths of Yakutat residents.  One male and one female,  these two deaths are unrelated.  No details are confirmed yet,  so I will withhold names for now.  The female was found unresponsive in her Anchorage apartment yesterday.  I do not know where the male was living,  or any circumstances surrounding his passing.

Bob Miller

Interesting Tsiu River Data Relating to the City's Acquisition:
-June 30th,  2011


Prepared for the City and Borough of Yakutat in March,  2009 by Sheinberb Associates

In the early 2000s the City and Borough of Yakutat (CBY) acquired approximately 21,500 acres of land west of Icy Bay area from the State of Alaska as part of its municipal entitlement. This included the mouth and first mile or so of several salmon bearing streams and rivers including the Tsiu River with its productive coho salmon run. Subsistence, commercial and sport fishers all utilize Tsiu River coho.

State leases (lodges, airstrips, cabins) on this new CBY land were transferred from the State to the borough in about 2005. Recent activity in the area includes five‐six sport fishing and hunting lodges (one lodge did not operate in 2008) that together have about a 100‐bed capacity and hosted approximately 875 anglers (2007), up to six air carriers bringing in day‐fishers, a commercially used airstrip and fish buying station supporting 10‐12 set gillnetters fishing commercially and staying in personal cabins.

Most of the activity occurs during the 6‐8 week coho fishing season in August to early October. The fishable portion of the Tsiu River is quite small. It is, depending on weather and sea conditions, about 3‐3.5 miles long, 20 to 60 feet wide (though it can be as wide as 150 feet depending on conditions) and 2 to 3 feet deep. Above the fishable part of the river is a “lake system” that is a braided swampy area approximately 5 to 7 miles wide with no clear channel to funnel fish in a concentrated way (so not good for fishing). Both commercial and sport fishers target the deeper (3‐4 feet) holes in the Tsiu River where fish congregate.   *****READ MORE*****

http://www.she Summary Tsiu River March

From the Junerau Empire - the Best of the Articles:

Yakutat fishermen died of exposure and drowning

Attempted to swim to shore with lifejackets

Posted: June 21, 2011 - 11:25pm

According to an uncle of one of the two fishermen who died in Monday’s commercial fishing accident near Yakutat, both of the victims were wearing life jackets and died due to the extreme temperature of the water.

Alaska State Troopers spokesperson Megan Peters said the boat appeared to have been swamped, and the deaths were likely a combination of hypothermia and drowning.

Yakutat residents Rex Newlun, 16, and Wayne Grey, 29, died as they tried to swim to shore after the 20-foot set net skiff they were in flipped over. A third Yakutat man, Jonathan Pavlik, 30, was found clinging to the overturned skiff and rescued.

Jack Endicot said his nephew, Newlun, was washed overboard by a rogue wave that flipped the boat over as the trio of commercial sockeye salmon set-net fishermen were exiting Dangerous River southeast of Yakutat.

The Dangerous River flows from Harlequin Lake, near ice fields at the base of the Brabazon Mountain Range in the Yakutat Ranger District in the Tongass National Forest, down to the Gulf of Alaska. The river mouth creates an estuary with the ocean waters and is known for treacherous currents and undertows that can suck a person underwater even if wearing a life jacket. The river is deceptively shallow in areas as well.

The skiff overturned roughly three quarters of a mile off the river mouth.

“They tried to swim to shore,” Endicot said. “They had life jackets on. The water is extremely cold.”

Pavlik is an experienced Alaska commercial fisherman from a well-known fishing family and Grey and Newlun were experienced in the waters around Yakutat.

Newlun would have been 17 in a few days and was captain of the Yakutat High School track team. Newlun placed second at the state championships in the shot put according to Yakutat track coach Alex Souza.

“I just spoke with him five days ago,” Souza said. “I reminded him he still had the school track uniform.”

Souza coached Newlun for two years.

“I have never coached and known such a strong, bright, outgoing, and polite kid,” Souza said. “Rex was one of a kind. He was one of those kids that you knew was going to make it in the real world and make a name for himself. He told me his plan was to be a state trooper, break the school record in shot and discus, and so much more. The world lost a kid that made everyone around him better. He was a person you wanted to be around. A student everyone looked up to and wanted to be. I looked forward to practice because of him. I am in shock with the outcome. As a teacher, coach, and friend. I will always remember Rex until the day I die. My condolences go out to the Newlun family.”

Souza also said that he grew up next door to Grey as kids.

“We went to weddings together and enjoyed many experiences as we grew up,” Souza said. “He was a hunter, a devoted brother and son, and he was a part of everyone’s life in a positive way. We loved him very much. I will miss Wayne and hold on to my friends even tighter after this tragic event.”

The Coast Guard Juneau Command Center was contacted at 5:09 p.m. Monday by pilot Les Hartley of Alsek Air Service in Yakutat who spotted an overturned skiff with a person clinging to the top of it. A seafood company in Yakutat was also notified and launched a boat to rescue the survivor. Hartley later spotted the two bodies of the dead fishermen on a nearby beach.

• Contact reporter Klas Stolpe at 523-2263 or at


A Tough Week in Yakutat - Bob Miller

June 23rd,  2011

Over the past week,  six Yakutat residents have died.  Cecilia Mapes (86) on June 14th and Barbara Mapes (56) on June 16th both passed away from natural causes.  Rex Newlun (17) and Wayne Gray (29) passed following the boating accident on the Dangerous River on June 20th.  We just learned that two other male former Yakutat Residents have died as well,  one in Anchorage and another in Fairbanks.  The Fairbanks death is considered a suicide and since I do not have full details on the situation of either of these,  I will not release the names here at this time.

The Yakutat Clinic will be having grief counseling throughout this week in the evenings.  Please contact the clinic if you have any questions,  or would like to make an appointment.  Services for Ces and Barbie will be held this Saturday June 25th.  I do not know when the other memorial services will be held.

Young Fishermen Die on Dangerous River (Revised) - Bob Miller

June 21st,  2011

Dangerous River.JPG (94311 bytes)Updated @4pm June 21st:  Names have officially been released.  Wayne Gray (29 yo) and Rex Newlun (17 yo).  Jonathan Pavlik survived the ordeal.  

Three local fishermen ran into trouble Monday morning at the Dangerous River.  Two drowned,  a third was flown out to the hospital in Sitka last night.  While commercial fishing,  the three were heading back to Yakutat when a wave swamped the skiff they were in at around 11am Monday.  A second wave capsized the boat.  The two men lost had flotation devices and were on the hull of the upturned boat.  At some point,  two of the men decided to try to swim to shore.  At around 4pm,  Les Hartley of Alsek Air Service spotted the man on the boat and help was able to get out and rescue him from the Situk River.  The other two men never reached the shore.

Dangerous_River1.jpg (127210 bytes)Ocean temperature is 55.6 degrees F,  however the water in the glacially fed Dangerous River is generally in the low to mid 30's.  Survival at these temperatures is measured in under 10 minutes.  Outgoing tidal flow can be extremely strong,  with unpredictable wave development.  Low tide yesterday occurred at 11:01am,  creating shallow water across the outer bar of the river mouth and maximum wave development at the time of the accident.

At last report,  the police were still officially withholding the names of the deceased,  so I will here as well.  The men involved are some of Yakutat's most responsible,  experienced and respected young men and this tragedy is hitting our community very hard.  Consider sending your respects through Lakeside Chapel Assembly of God,  or the LDS church here in Yakutat.

Note:  Secon knocked the phones out this morning,  therefore additional information was not verifiable at this point.

Anchorage Daily News report:

More links,  not all the info is accurate:,0,939548.story

Secon Construction Begins Yakutat Road Resurfacing Project - Bob Miller

June 20th,  2011

A major $5 million road improvement project began in earnest in Yakutat today.  Secon Construction began work removing old asphalt between Ophir Creek Bridge and the Yakutat Airport.  The entire paved road surface from the airport to the harbor dock will be removed,  recycled and repaved throughout the summer,  followed by paving of Max Italio Drive (formerly Bayview Drive) and several side streets.  Expect delays and difficulties getting around town from now till October as the project progresses.

Simms Out-Of-The-Dark Promotion Winners Announced
-Bob Miller

June 20th,  2011

The winners of the Simms Out-Of-The-Dark promotion for 2011 were announced today:

Grand Prize
G4 River Package (G4 Pro Waders, G4 Guide Boots & G4 Pro Jacket) ($1229.85 value)
Three Rivers Fly & Tackle, Clyde Broumley

Second Prize
Layering Package (Simms Guide Fleece Top, Guide Fleece Pant, Guide Fleece Bib, Simms Exstream Socks) ($344.80 value)
Mt. View Sports. Eric Goosman

Third Prize
Around Town Package (Simms Rogue Fleece Hoody, Simms Cascadia Ball Cap) ($109.90 value)
Situk River Fly Shop, Jim Shew

4th-10th Place Finishers
Simms Hat & Accessory Package ($19.95-$29.95)

4th Mossy’s Fly Shop, Brad Beiser

5th Mt. View Sports, Keith Wagoner

6th Juneau Fly Fishing Goods, Robert Josh Keaton

7th Juneau Fly Fishing Goods, Dave Lustyitz

8th World Wide Angler, Scott Lyke

9th Mossy’s Fly Shop, Shawn Woodmansee

10th World Wide Angler, James Christmas

If you are one of the lucky drawing winners,  contact your shop.

Yakutat Dungeness Crab Fishery Announcement
Season to Remain Closed:  ADF&G Office - Douglas,  AK

June 14th,  2011

Juneau...  The Alaska Department of Fish and Game reminds fishermen that the commercial fishery for Dungeness crab in Registration Area D (Yakutat) will remain closed for both summer and fall portions of the 2011/12 fishing season.  The fishery has been closed for the past eleven seasons since being designated as collapsed and recovering by the Board of Fisheries at their January 2000 meeting.  A survey of Yakutat Dungeness stock conducted in May 2004 showed no signs of stock recovery.  Following this survey the Yakutat sport and personal use Dungeness fisheries were also closed in the fall of 2004.  The department is currently planning to resurvey the Yakutat Dungeness stock in June of 2012.

High fashion or bait? Fly ties now hair extensions - Associated Press

By JESSIE L. BONNER , 06.03.11, 06:35 AM EDT

BOISE, Idaho -- Fly shop manager Jim Bernstein was warned that hair stylists would come banging on his door, but he didn't listen.

Sure enough, less than 24 hours later, a woman walked into the Eldredge Bros. Fly Shop in Maine and made a beeline toward a display of hackles - the long, skinny rooster feathers fishermen use to make lure.

"She brought a bunch up to the counter and asked if I could get them in pink," he said. "That's when I knew."

Fly fishing shops nationwide, he learned, are at the center of the latest hair trend: Feather extensions. Supplies at stores from the coasts of Maine to landlocked Idaho are running out and some feathers sold online are fetching hundreds of dollars more than the usual prices.

"I'm looking around the shop thinking hmmm, what else can they put in their hair?" Bernstein said.

Fly fishermen are not happy, bemoaning the trend in online message boards and sneering at so-called "feather ladies." Some also blame "American Idol" judge and rocker Steven Tyler, who began wearing the feathers in his long hair.  *****READ MORE*****

Anchorage Daily News

Sealaska land deal hearing in Congress this week

CONGRESS: Tongass selection plan battle has gone on for years.

WASHINGTON -- For decades, conservationists, the U.S. Forest Service, tribes, Native corporations and the people who live in the Tongass National Forest have warred over how to manage the vast temperate rain forest covering most of Southeast Alaska.

The fight resurfaces in Washington this week, as the Sealaska Native Corp. makes a case to a Senate committee that it should be able to pick as much as 85,000 acres outside of its original land grants in the forest.

The company's picks are controversial, in part because they include valuable old growth timber that many would like to see off-limits to logging. Some local groups, including the Craig Tribal Association, also have concerns about how Sealaska plans to address important cultural locations in the acres the company wants, including places that are part of their ancestral history.

But Sealaska argues it has sought for decades to assume ownership of all the acreage it was granted under 1971's Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, the landmark legislation that settled aboriginal land claims by the state's Native people.

The company has turned its attention to Congress, which must approve the Native corporation's proposal to choose land outside of the original and amended "boxes" they picked in the early 1970s.  ****READ MORE****

May 22nd,  2011
No major Yakutat news at the monent,  so here is an "entertaining" read.  I'm tired of having the snarky article about Yakutat's silly politics on top,  so I'm posting this from  This has nothing to do with fishing,  but a lot to do with Yakutat and the rest of America...  As a conservative,  not many news and information sites write with my common sense perspective - including supposed right-wing sources like "The Weekly Standard" - a joke in and of itself.  I'm warming to "Reason Magazine" though (according to Tanis,  you put magazine titles in quotes,  but underline book titles).  Here is a sample:

Dear Congress, Your Credit Application Has Been Turned Down

Why should the American people keep extending credit to Capitol Hill?

The Honorable _________
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable _________
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Mr. or Ms. _______,

Thank you for your interest in the American Public Trust's Gold Card credit program. Rest assured your application has been given thorough and careful consideration by the American people.

After reviewing the information provided in your application as well as your credit report, we regret to say that we are unable to extend you further credit at this time. The reasons for our decision are as follows:

(1) Inadequate income.Our records indicate that your annual income for the 2011 taxable year was $2,170,000,000,000. You have requested a credit limit of $17,000,000,000,000. These figures exceed the American Public's debt-to-income guidelines for credit issuance.

(2) Excessive spending. The receipts you provided indicate your annual expenditures for the 2011 fiscal year total $3,820,000,000,000, or $1,650,000,000,000 more than your total income for the year. The American Public prefers that its members of Congress maintain a positive or neutral rather than a negative cash flow.

(3) High debt utilization. Your credit report indicates that you have a credit limit of $14,300,000,000,000, and of that amount you have utilized $14,300,000,000,000, for a debt utilization ratio of 100 percent. Consumer banking industry guidelines recommend a debt utilization ratio of no greater than 30 percent for standard creditworthiness, and 10 percent for exemplary creditworthiness. A debt utilization rate of 100 percent meets our classification of "You're *&^%$#@! kidding, right?"

(4) High credit activity. Our records indicate you have credit accounts open with the Federal Reserve Bank of the United States, the Social Security Administration, the People's Bank of China, the Bank of Japan, the European Central Bank, the Bank of the Republic of Burundi, Bank Frick & Co. AG Liechtensteiner Privatbank, Quik-Cash Loans, Three Gold Balls Pawn Shop (Ann Arbor, Mich.), MyFast (Antigua), (Cayman Islands), Frank the bartender (Old Towne Tavern), and several members of the extended family of Salvatore "Sammy Meatballs" Montigliano of Montclair, N.J. While account activity threshholds vary by lender, your activity exceeds American Public guidelines for further credit issuance.

(5) Multiple recent credit inquiries. Records indicate your credit report has been accessed more than 6,437 times in the past 60 days. Inquiries may be triggered by applications for credit, employment or both and represent one factor in determining an applicant's loan risk to a credit issuer. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), as amended, requires businesses to have legitimate grounds for requesting your credit history. If you feel your credit information is inaccurate or has been accessed for unacceptable reasons, you may wish to contact the Federal Trade Commission...  ****READ MORE****

"Yakutat postal clerks stop delivery of anonymous letters containing allegations of improprieties by city officials

Envelopes contained allegations of improprieties by city officials"

*****Bob's Comment about this article*****
This has to be the most poorly written "professional" news article I have ever read.  The headline is redundant enough,  the body of the article isn't any better...

Yakutat postal clerks stop delivery of anonymous letters containing allegations of improprieties by city officials

Envelopes contained allegations of improprieties by city officials

Standing at the Yakutat Post Office counter last week, resident Rube Evans was hoping to read some mail other than his wife’s Chinese newspapers and was pleasantly surprised to find an envelope with his name on it.

“I would never make it through one of those newspapers,” Evans said. “They have some nice photos but, unless my wife reads them to me, they are gibberish.”

Unfortunately for Evans he would never make it through the letter, either, as postal clerk Jenn Bell asked to have it back.

It was part of a stack of envelopes which the postal clerk said were not properly addressed, and were supposed to be sent to a mail recovery center in Georgia.

Inside the envelopes were various court documents pertaining to a Superior Court case in Juneau May 11 between the City and Borough of Yakutat and Alaskan Adventure Tours, Inc., and a letter claiming to be from a concerned citizen of Yakutat who stated he or she was following the case...  *****READ MORE*****

Hunting and Fishing News

Legislation Introduced To Protect Lead Based Ammo And Fishing Tackle
Friday, April 22, 2011

On April 14th, U.S. Senators Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and John Thune (R-S.D.) and U.S. Representatives Jeff Miller (R-Fla.), Mike Ross (D-Ark.), Bob Latta (R-Ohio) and Heath Shuler (D-N.C.), introduced legislation to protect traditional lead ammunition and fishing tackle from a potential ban by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

S. 838 and H.R. 1558 would protect the rights of sportsmen to use traditional ammunition by clarifying that the components used in manufacturing shells, cartridges, and fishing tackle are exempt from EPA regulation under the Toxic Substance Control Act. *****READ MORE*****



Fly Shop Poster1.jpg (618187 bytes)





The map to the shop:
Fly Shop Map.jpg (102129 bytes)

Or in white:
Fly Shop Map-Neg.jpg (101055 bytes)

KingClosure2012.JPG (136774 bytes)
2015 Situk King Closure

2015 Situk Sockeye Limit Increase

Alaska Department of Fish and Game
Click HERE!

ADFG Weir Counts Page.
Click HERE!

Situk River Fly Shop
101 The Hangar - or - P.O. Box 415  Yakutat,  Alaska 99689
Shop Number: (907)784-3087     Shop FAX: (907)784-3086
Open daily in Yakutat's ol' WWII hangar at the airport.