PALMER — Brick Paskiewicz took the Alaska Baseball League by storm during the 2015 Alaska Baseball League summer season. Weeks after the conclusion of the ABL campaign, Paskiewicz continues to snag honors.
Mike Hudson of 3 Rivers Fly & Tackle in Wasilla told me people are still catching some nice chrome silver salmon from Susitna River tributary streams along the Parks Highway north of Willow. Mike also mentioned that silver salmon fishing at Clear Creek along the Talkeetna River has been good lately.
WASILLA — With just about all the top programs in the field, the Tsalteshi Invitational typically provides the season’s first look at where runners and teams may rank in the state. If Saturday’s race is any indication, a few of the top girls in Alaska hail from the Valley.
PALMER — The Soldotna Stars haven’t made the trip to Colony High School since 2009. But one member of the 2015 Stars is a bit more familiar with the Knights and Colony High, and helped Soldotna extend a state record with its 31st straight victory.
After an exceptional escapement of 8,802 silver salmon past the Little Susitna River weir through August 5, 2015, silver salmon passage has fallen off considerably with only an additional 2, 828 silvers swimming past the weir from August 6-18. During that time period the sport fishery opened to bait fishing and an emergency order liberalized the bag limit from two to three silver salmon daily. There can be no doubt that lots of sport anglers (particularly boaters) got out and enjoyed the expanded fishing opportunity on the Little Susitna River. The past two weekends saw very crowded fishing and boating on the river, and good harvests of silver salmon as well, but through Aug. 16, total silver salmon passage through the weir remained greater than occurred 2014 through the same date.
We’ve had an incredibly good salmon season so far in the Northern District. Alaska Department of Fish and Game issued another emergency order in the last week reversing the restrictions closing the Larson Lake system to the retention of sockeye salmon because the lower escapement goal for that system had been met.
WASILLA — The Colony Knights saw their fair share of bad bounces and endured a few growing pains along the way as East Anchorage snuck away with a slim victory during the opening week of the 2015 prep football season last week in Anchorage.
PALMER — Typically it’s a few weeks into the season before runners flood the trails at Colony High School. But things are a little different this year. Rather than tucked into the middle of the cross-country calendar, the Colony Invitational kicked off the high school running season.
WASILLA — Early in the first quarter, a young Wasilla Warriors squad stood with a touchdown lead over a perennial power, the Service Cougars. But as it turned out, the Warriors were standing in the calm before the storm.
WASILLA — The Houston Hawks hit the locker room trailing rival Homer at halftime Friday night. Despite being behind, Houston head coach Glenn Nelson said he saw something from his players that every coach wants to see.
CHUGIAK — It’s been a few years since the Palmer Moose met the Chugiak Mustangs. But the storied rivalry between the Southcentral Alaska foes includes a pair of state championship game, and a semifinal match decided in overtime. As the Moose clung to a one-point lead late in the game, longtime Palmer High head coach Rod Christiansen couldn’t help but recall some of those battles of the past.
WASILLA — With a full slate of games across the state, the new prep football season officially begins today. Considering the amount of change in Valley football during the last several months, there’s an added emphasis on the word “new.”
Continuing some thoughts from last week’s column, Alaska Department of Fish and Game issued a third news release late last week expanding the coho daily bag limit from two fish to three for Wasilla, Cottonwood, and Fish creeks. They also added Mondays to the weekend only fisheries at Wasilla and Cottonwood creeks, making legal fishing on Saturdays, Sundays, and Mondays now. Fish Creek was expanded to seven days a week for sport fishing. All other regulations for these systems remain the same.
Silver salmon are now available at most locations throughout the Mat-Su Valley. When I talked with Margo Nealis of Phantom Tri River Charters in Talkeetna on Wednesday of this week, she reported fishing good silver salmon fishing in the Talkeetna Drainage. The normal bag limit for salmon in the Talkeetna River Drainage is three per day (all of which may be silver salmon). I would expect that even more silvers will be arriving at this location through the remainder of August.
I’ve heard it called a number of names — the Palmer Matterhorn, Elf Hat, Devil’s Thumb, Baby Horn — all referring to that spire of a crag that juts up off the long ridge to the right of Matanuska Peak. While I have no idea what it is actually called, it’s a feature that’s hard to miss from Palmer, and its sheer drop and rocky face have always captured my imagination. Fortunately, it captured my brother Paul’s as well, and over the last few years he made a quest out of seeking its summit. I was fortunate enough to join him when he finally cracked the peak’s code.
WASILLA – In the midst of recent concern over sports injuries and concussions, a number of youth football coaches attended a USA Football clinic July 25 at the Curtis D. Menard Sports Center, where they focused on making the game safer.
PALMER — When asked about the Mat-Su Miners roster prior to the start of the 2015 Alaska Baseball League season, Mat-Su head coach Ben Taylor immediately noted how vital utility players would be to the success of the Miners during the summer season.
We live in an area with a mixed bag of fishing opportunities and a wide variation in management actions for those same fisheries resources. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game has issued a couple of emergency orders this past week outlining both positive and negative management strategies for our Mat-Su salmon species.
On Aug. 6 the Little Susitna River opened to bait fishing as scheduled in the fisheries regulation book. In response to higher-than-normal early numbers of silver (coho) salmon passing through the Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s Little Su salmon counting weir, the department also issued an emergency order increasing the sport fishing bag limit from two to three silver salmon per day on the river downstream of the Parks Highway. In 30-plus years of guiding salmon fishing trips on the Little Su, this is only the second time I’ve experienced Fish and Game increasing the silver salmon bag limit on the river by Aug. 6. From what I’ve written so far, one might expect excellent silver salmon fishing on the Little Susitna River.
PALMER — Each year, the Mat-Su Miners roster is assembled with players from all across the United States. In 2015, the Miners roster consisted of 28 players at its start, one above the Alaska Baseball League maximum, which forced the team to leave two players off of the active roster. One of these two players at the start of the year was left-handed pitcher Scotty Sunitsch from Washington State University.
On July 27, coho salmon were the most abundant salmon species harvested in the Northern District Commercial set net fishery. As coho salmon numbers increase in the commercial fishery and harvests of sockeye and other salmon species start tailing off, sport fisheries in Mat-Su Valley streams will soon see the coho salmon rush that provides the most important sport fishery in the Valley. Some streams have already seen decent coho salmon fishing — in particular the Little Susitna River, Deshka River, and Little Willow Creek have been producing limit catches for lucky anglers over the past couple weeks.
I’ve been thinking about this recently and wondering when the news would report the State of Alaska was prosecuting Roland Maw, the governor’s first choice to replace Karl Johnstone on the Alaska Board of Fisheries. Maw filed for and received Permanent Fund Dividends (PFD’s) for the same seven years (I believe 2007 to 2013) where he was claiming residency for hunting license purchases in the State of Montana. Maw owns homes in both Alaska and Montana.
PALMER — The Alaska Baseball League Top of the World Series will be played in Palmer for the first time in the event’s history August 3-4, and there is one person on the Mat-Su Miners roster who may be more eager than anyone else.
PALMER — The Mat-Su Miners started their final homestand of the 2015 Alaska Baseball League regular season Friday night. And with a victory in front of a record crown, the Miners made sure there will be two more home games at Hermon Brothers Field this summer.