Surveying what’s left of Eklutna River’s Salmon
Standing on the edge of the bridge, staring down the dry riverbed, I wondered what the Eklutna River would look like when it was allowed to flow again.
This past fall I found myself frequenting the Eklutna River often, after plans solidified for the owners of the Eklutna Hydroelectric Project to briefly return water to the river for the first time since its construction in 1955. The water release was part of the study looking to mitigate the projects impacts on fish populations.…
Cycling to the source of the Eklutna
As I dedicate more of my time with Trout Unlimited to help restore the Eklutna River, traditionally named Idlughetnu, I spend hours of the day with my mind 45 miles away from my Anchorage home within the fractured Eklutna River system. Though I now get to see more of the area and further my understanding of its history, there is no shortage of information I have yet to learn and areas of the watershed that…
What 2020 holds for restoring Alaska’s Eklutna River
With great excitement, last year we doubled down on the revitalization of Alaska’s Eklutna River. We see this work as a unique chance to return salmon in historical numbers to a river of great cultural significance to the native village of Eklutna and potentially create a new sportfishing opportunity. The year was dominated by furthering relationships with partners, engaging in the process to help reduce…
Help return water to the Eklutna River
For nearly 90 years, the abandoned lower Eklutna Dam blocked salmon migration on the Eklutna River, contributing to the downfall of the salmon fishery. In September of 2018, we, along with many others, rejoiced the successful removal of the lower dam. This dam removal marked a first step in reconnecting 22 miles of salmon habitat and securing a free-flowing future for the Eklutna River.
For the most part, Alaskans enjoy healthy habitat and thriving fisheries. Because of this, our work is primarily focused on protecting this habitat that enables us to continue fishing with our families and friends. There are areas in Alaska, however, where we have opportunities to go back and right a wrong for the sake of the fish and the local…