Fisheries Report from the Watershed
The Silvers are still running, and you might be able to find a few skinny Pinks hanging around...
But how did the Susitna River Watershed fisheries do overall in 2021? SRC board member, Commercial Fisherman and Chair of the MatSu Fish and Game Commission, Mike Wood had a lot to update us on. Overall, Wood said that fishing was great this year. The Sockeye run was late by about two weeks, but this seems to be a new trend. Speaking from the point of view of the Mat Su Fish and Game Commission, Mike says that these returns are a great indication that the management steps taken in recent years are paying off. After years of poor sockeye returns, conservative management seems to be showing its effectiveness for sport and commercial fishermen alike. What great news! It has been hypothesized that the cool, wet season that we experienced in the Susitna valley contributed to the good runs. Despite the good runs of sockeye and kings, it appears as though chums are not showing up in high numbers, but this is universal across the state. The Little Susitna Weir counts indicated that just over 18,000 chum passed through the weir as of August 28, 2021. Compare this to 2018 where 89,000 chum passed through the weir on the same date. If you are curious about the final escapement numbers for the five species of Pacific salmon in our drainages, you can always check the ADFG weir reports for the Little Susitna, Deshka, and Yentna. Have you been catching fish out there in the watershed? What have you noticed? Send us your pictures or tag us on Social Media--We would love to share them!
Hydropower Done Right
The Susitna River Coalition is excited to see more smart, renewable power arriving to the RailBelt. After over a decade of planning, David Brailey has created a micro-hydropower project on Juniper Creek near Eagle River. This hydropower station now connects to the MEA power grid and is delivering sustainable, salmon-safe power to more than 300 homes. Learn about Dave's project in the news.
Photo from Loren Holmes/ADN Want to learn more about this amazing project? Save the date for October 20, 2021 @ 6 PM For a presentation from Dave to the SRC community
Our Winter Speaker Series is BACK!
Energy Efficiency with Mark Masteller: September 27 @ 6PM
Curious about the energy efficiency of your home in preparation of the cold months ahead? Join the SRC and Mark Masteller on Monday, September 27 at 6PM for a discussion on how to improve the energy efficiency of your cabin or home. Mark Masteller holds a Matanuska seat on the Board of the Matanuska Electric Association. He is an assistant professor focusing on Renewable Energy at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Bristol Bay Campus, and previously worked as a Wildlife Biologist for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game based out of Palmer. Mark is dedicated to developing ecologically sustainable communities. Come prepared with questions about how to improve the energy efficiency of your home and our local community! The event will be held online via Zoom and streamed FacebookLive.
Mark Your Calendars!
Successful Micro-Hydropower In Eagle River with David Brailey October 20, 2021 @ 6PM
November: A Month of Creativity in the Watershed
Katelin Walcyznk, co-founder of Lofted Acre Studios, November 3, 2021 @ 6PM TBD November 10, 2021 @ 6PM Artist, Journalist and Bush Pilot Katie Writer November 17, 2021 @6PM, ... and a special virtual "Paint and Sip," Date TBD
Caribou Management of the Nelchina Herd, ADFG Wildlife Biologist, Heidi Hatcher December 15, 2021 @ 5:30
Archaeological History of the Susitna River Watershed, with Anthropologist and Archaeologist, Dr. Kathryn Krasinski January 2022, date TBD
Start getting your recipes ready for our annual Wild Su Feast this November! Dates will be announced soon. Need some inspiration? Check out our Wild Su Feast 2020 Cookbook.
Didn't make it to all of our speaker events last year? Take a look at our YouTube channel and catch up on our great speaker events.
Mat Su Salmon Partnership Update
Last week, SRC Director and Mat-Su Salmon Habitat Partnership Steering Committee Member, Melissa Heuer, along with 40 other Mat-Su Borough leaders, was fortunate to go on the 2021 Salmon Partnership Site Tour. This year's tour featured the benefits and bounty of the Little Su. The Little Su flows 110 miles from its crystal clear headwaters rushing through Hatcher Pass to its deep oxbows leading to its mouth at Cook Inlet. The river provides spawning and rearing habitat to all five species of Alaska salmon. While the river itself is a treasure, the headwaters are the powerhouse that feeds the system. The 2021 Summer Site Tour explored the freshwater habitat needs of salmon habitat and what the Little Susitna provides; current studies to identify the thermal requirements of local salmon, water temperature trends and the future suitability of the Little Susitna River as salmon habitat in a warming climate; the value of Little Susitna salmon from an economic and community perspective; impacts to salmon habitat from aquatic invasive species; and tools to maintain healthy salmon habitat. Learn more about the Mat Su Salmon Partnership and the work that they do at: https://www.matsusalmon.org/
Please don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about our work or would like to get more involved. Don't forget to follow us on Instagram and Facebook for updates. Thank you for your support! SRC Board Members: Mike Wood, Whitney Wolff, Becky Long, Laura Wright, Howard Carbone, and Heidi Knudsvig