Tuesday, July 24, 2012

July 23 – Waiting in Valdez

It hasn’t really stopped raining in two days and nights and the rain and fog make the daytime temperatures of 10C seem even colder.

Yesterday we mainly stayed inside our nice warm RV. We did do some grocery shopping and the laundry.

Today we had to get out and do something. There is a salmon hatchery across the bay. The salmon that are released are imprinted on the area and try and return here to spawn. Unfortunately there is no place for them to spawn so they just crowd up against the entrance to the hatchery.

The eagles, sea lions, seal and bears know this and come here for a feast. The tourists all come here for a look.

This morning when we went it was near low tide. There is a stream flowing down Solomon Gulch in the mountainside behind us.


The salmon are all bunched up in the path of the stream as it crosses the tidal flats to the ocean.



They have a floating weir or screen across the creek that you can see to the right in the picture above. It prevents the fish from getting up the stream.


On the far side of the weir is a fish ladder leading up into the hatchery,


I seem to remember that they only take the eggs, to replenish the hatchery, from the fish that make it all the way back up. The rest just become food for the others animals. Survival of the fittest.

The fish just mill about up against the weir, not knowing how to go farther.



The creek bed was basically solid fish all the way out.


We didn’t see any bears but there was an eagle perched up in a tree. I guess he had already eaten his fill.

This afternoon I went back near high tide. Here is the view from the same spot as this morning.


The brown water is all the fish huddled up near shore with some sea lions patrolling along the edge.





I am not sure why sea lions and seals just seemed to stay out there and not come closer. They seemed content to stay and watch. I guess they were full as well. Every once in a while you would see a wave in the fish as they scattered when something went by.

As you can see at the end of the video some of the fish made it over the weir but they don’t move on up the stream.

You were not allowed to fish close to the hatchery but on either side people were trying.


We never did see a bear. There is a mama grizzly bear and 4 cubs (which is very unusual) in the area. I have read in other people’s blogs about seeing them. There is even a flashing warning sign on the road saying to be careful. We will probably pop back on the days we are here to check.

There was a weird sign on the fence next to the hatchery. It basically said “If you look behind you, you will see a small power house and some penstocks.


At the top of the hill is a dam on a lake. If there is an earthquake the dam could break. Here is a picture of how far you would have to run / drive to escape but because the dam is so close you are going to die if you are here”.

Here is the actual sign worded a little more nicely.


The weather is suppose to get progressively better this week. We would like one more at least partly nice day to go back to the Worthington Glacier. I also want to time our moving on such that we get a nice day to drive the dirt road into Wrangell – St. Elias National Park to the Kennecott Mine. Therefore we are not sure how long we will be here. Some relaxing days are OK but not too many or we get antsy.

No comments:

Post a Comment