All posts by Chris Cocoles

A Closeup Look At Alaska Wildfire

A spruce grouse navigates through the charred remnants of the Funny River Fire on the Kenai Peninsula. (PHOTO BY GARTH BILDERBACK)

A spruce grouse navigates through the charred remnants of the Funny River Fire on the Kenai Peninsula. (PHOTO BY GARTH BILDERBACK)

 

The  Funny River fire has burned 156,000 acres of Kenai Peninsula land, prompting 600 firefighters into action to help slow down the blaze that, per the Anchorage Daily News, jumped the Kenai River over the holiday weekend. Our frequent contributors, Steve Meyer and Christine Cunningham, live in the area and have been assisting their friends coping with the dangers of a spreading wildfire. Steve was kind enough to send us an update:

The fire to this point has been as close to the “perfect storm” as one could hope for. For the past 15 years the central and northern sections of the Kenai Peninsula have been a tinderbox. That there would be a fire was of no question, it was only a matter of when. Originally the powers that be stated it was started from a campfire that was not properly doused but then stated perhaps not and, it was still under investigation.  The Kenai does occasionally have lightening, which has started fires in years gone by but there were no lightening incidents at the time this one started so it is almost assuredly caused by human interaction. For this fire to go on for eight days without injury and at this point, no verified structure damage is nothing short of astonishing. The fire-fighting effort by Central Emergency Services, State Division of Forestry, the Canadian water bomber plains, National Guard helicopters and all of the volunteer assistance from local residents has been remarkable.

Social media has been the most up to date source of information for people and Brad Nelson, the communications fella with Central Emergency Services has done an amazing job of tireless reporting on their site keeping people informed. Numerous posts enlisting help of one sort or another have been posted and instantly there is more help available than needed. Even people from the Palmer/Wasilla area have volunteered their support. Local businesses have donated rooms for people evacuated from homes, pet care has been provided. The fire crews have had some shortages of personal things like socks and toothpaste and people are instantly providing these items.  It has been a real heartwarming display of what can be done by people who care about their fellows.

At present, Monday evening (5 pm), the western flank (Kasilof area) seems to be secure. The northeastern flank is having some issues primarily due to a south wind that built up yesterday and blew cinders across the Kenai River. At the fire briefing this morning there were unconfirmed losses of several recreational cabins north of the Kenai River near the Killey River junction to the Kenai. On Monday the wind died down some, but it has picked back up again and this evening will likely produce expansion of the fire to the north.

People are concerned about wildlife loss in the fire. Most do not understand that even when moving rapidly a fire does not travel more than about ¾ mph. Wildlife easily remove themselves from the path, but of course there will be some loss of bird nests and any small animal young that are still in the nesting stages.

The eastern flank of the fire, which is towards the Kenai Mountains where there is no human habitation, has been largely ignored. It will burn out when it runs out of fuel on the mountain slopes.

The upside is the fire has not harmed anyone and frankly was long overdue. Wildlife in the area will benefit as they do in the aftermath of virtually all wildfires. New growth will sprout and the area will once again be the magnificent habitat it has been in years’ past. This fire could return the Kenai to the most prolific moose habitat in the world, as it once was.

The future is uncertain for the northern Kenai Peninsula. It too is a tinderbox waiting for a spark; depending on wind conditions when it happens, it could also spark a blaze, and the odds say it will be catastrophic. The current fire may promote some aggressive fire management from the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, but that seems unlikely. They take a “natural diversity” stance and have been remiss in doing any real fire control work in the area. Rain is predicted for Tuesday afternoon and possibly Wednesday, but the peninsula is so dry at this point, it will take much more than a shower to have a significant effect on the current fire or the potential for future fire incidents. Alaska is unique in its ability to dry itself practically immediately after a good rain.

Here is the web address for CES, probably the most up-to-date and accurate information available on the fire: https://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/groups/219062911462753/

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Much thanks to Steve and Christine, and here’s hoping everyone stays safe.

 

 

Memorial Day Remembrances

I’m sure I’ve said it before during one of my blog posts, but I’m a history geek. I almost jumped out of my chair last night when I was channel surfing and saw the History Channel’s promo for its three-part event, The World Wars.  My Dad is 82 now, a Navy veteran of the Korean War, and I’ve been trying to convince him to get on a plane and check out Normandy and other war sites in France. But while Memorial Day is all about the coming off summer, baseball game and cookouts, it’s also one of those holidays where you have to take time out to reflect on those brave soldiers who have been lost, from Bunker Hill to Afghanistan, it’s important to reflect a little while you’re enjoying the holiday weekend.

I grew up in San Bruno, just south of San Francisco, and moved back there for a few years before relocating again to take on the editor’s position with California Sportsman’s parent company, Media Inc. publishing. The Golden Gate National Cemetery is located right alongside the street where I’d walk my dog every day, and each day we’d slow down a bit and I’d peek over the tombstones of those who fell in various conflicts. I know what these men and women have sacrificed for us. So I just wanted to post some of pictures of stops I’ve made over the years, and I just hope you all take a moment to say thanks on this holiday.

Shiloh National Battlefield
Shiloh (Tenn.) National Battlefield

 

54th Massachusetts mural, Smithsonian National Gallery
54th Massachusetts mural, Smithsonian National Gallery

World War II Memorial, Washington D.C.

World War II Memorial, Washington D.C.

Arlington National Cemetery; Washington D.C.
Arlington National Cemetery; Washington D.C.

 

 

Gettysburg
Gettysburg
Philadelphia
Philadelphia
More Shiloh: The Peach Orchard
More Shiloh: The Peach Orchard
Little Round Top, Gettysburg
Little Round Top, Gettysburg

 

Salmon Landing At SeaTac

Photo courtesy of Alaska Airlines

Photo courtesy of Alaska Airlines

An Alaska Airlines flight that landed at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport had quite a distinguished passenger list: the first haul of Copper River king salmon.

As part of an annual event sponsored by Alaska Air Cargo, the plane was full of Copper salmon ready to be distributed to area restaurants, grocery stores, etc. was delivered at SeaTac.

From Market Watch:

At least five more Alaska Airlines flights today will transport salmon from Cordova, Alaska, to Anchorage, Seattle and throughout the United States. The flights will have fresh fish from three Alaska seafood processors: Copper River Seafoods, Ocean Beauty Seafoods and Trident Seafoods.

Alaska Airlines plays a significant role in supporting the Alaska seafood industry, which is recognized worldwide for its sustainable fishing practices. Last year, the carrier flew more than 24.5 million pounds of fresh Alaska seafood to the Lower 48 states and beyond, including 1 million pounds of Copper River salmon.

“No other airline delivers more Copper River salmon to the Lower 48 than Alaska Airlines, and making that happen within 24 hours after the fish is pulled from the water is no small feat,” said Betsy Bacon, managing director of Alaska Air Cargo. “Hundreds of employees from across the state of Alaska, Seattle and beyond spend months getting ready for the busy summer fish season.”

The annual tradition is part of the Copper Chef Cook-Off that involves local restaurants showing off their best salmon dishes.

A Beginner’s Guide To Gold Panning

Note: This story appears is in the May issue of Alaska Sporting Journal

PHOTO BY STEVE HERSCHBACH

PHOTO BY STEVE HERSCHBACH

By Steve Herschbach

Strike it rich! Many people would like to find a little gold. To find gold, a beginner needs nothing more than a gold pan and some basic tools.

The best way to learn how to pan for gold is to first get the right kind of gold pan. The steel gold pans of old are still made, but most actual miners and prospectors these days use plastic gold pans. The colored plastic pans show the gold better than the shiny surface of a steel pan, and plastic pans can be molded with “cheater riffles” that make it easier to pan and still not lose the gold.

In general green is considered one of the best colors for a gold pan, as it contrasts well both with the gold and the sand from which the gold is being liberated. A 14-inch gold pan is about the right size for most adults, while most children would probably be better served with a 10-inch pan.

In good hands, the pan is one of the most efficient devices available for gold recovery. There is some skill involved in gold panning, however, and the big mistake most people make is in not learning how to pan before going out for the first time.

Find a tub large enough to move the pan around inside the tub. Obtain a few flakes of gold, or lacking gold, and use a small flattened lead shot. The gold or lead flakes should be about 1/16 of an inch in diameter or smaller. Fill the tub with water, and fill the pan level to about 1 inch short of the top with sand, gravel, and small rocks. Some actual stream gravels are best. Carefully count out a number of lead or gold pieces and push them into the material in the pan. This is the key thing about this process. It is necessary to start with a known number of pieces in order to gauge how well the panning process is going. Ten flakes is a good number to use.

 

PHOTO BY STEVE HERSCHBACH

PHOTO BY STEVE HERSCHBACH

THERE ARE LOTS of ways to pan, but all that is important is getting rid of that sand and gravel while keeping those sample pieces. Submerge the pan just below the surface of the water, and allow the water to soak into the material. It may be necessary to stir the material up somewhat to wet all the material in to pan. Pick out any larger rocks at this time. Then shake the pan vigorously side to side and front to rear, all the while keeping it just under the water and basically level.

The goal is to get all the material in the pan moving vigorously and very soupy. The gold or lead is much heavier than an equal size piece of sand, and so with all the material moving around the test samples will quickly sink to the bottom of the pan.

The next step involves taking the pan of material and tilting it forward, away from the panner, and scooping some water up out of the tub. The goal is to try and make a wave similar to that seen on a beach. Scoop the pan into the water and then lift the pan while tossing the water away. The water should ride up the tilted pan, and then as the water flows back out of the pan it will carry some material out with it.

The secret is in keeping the material in the bottom of the pan stationary and letting the water wash off the top layer in the pan. Do not dump the material out of the pan; wash it out of the pan. Three or four of these “scoop and toss” washing actions take place. Then the pan goes back to the level/submerged position for another round of vigorous shaking. Then back up, tilt forward, and scoop/wash the material. Repeat this action until only a few spoonfuls of material remain in the pan. You can be vigorous at first, but get more careful the less material remaining in the pan. Watch the material carefully while washing for a glint of gold or lead. If a piece is seen, stop and shake it back down into the bottom of the pan. If the pieces are seen often, it means the shaking action has not been vigorous enough to sink the samples to the bottom of the pan.

More care must be used when washing as the last bit of material remains in the pan. One wrong move and everything in the pan will go in the tub! When only a spoonful of material remains, swirling the material around in the bottom of the pan with a small amount of water will reveal the pieces of gold (or lead).

A very handy tool at this point is the snuffer bottle, which is a plastic squeeze container with a tube inserted into in such a fashion that small items can be sucked into the bottle but can’t escape. This makes it easy to spot the flakes, and then suck them up while getting as little sand as possible. When all the pieces have been captured, dump material still in the pan into the tub. Then take the cap off the snuffer bottle and dump out the captured pieces back into the pan. It should now be very easy to separate the test samples from the tiny amount of sand remaining.

Now count them! All the original test pieces should be captured. If not, rinse everything out of the tub back into the pan and start all over. The first goal is to get to where all the test pieces are reliably recovered every time. When that point is reached, the next goal is to try and pan faster, to speed up the process. Beginning panners take incredible amounts of time on a single pan when they are learning, sometimes 15 to 20 minutes or more. But with practice it should take no more than a few minutes to work a pan of material. Gold panning championships are measured in seconds, not minutes.

If this kind of practice does not take place before going out to do some actual gold panning, the chances for any kind of success are very minimal. The new prospector will have no idea if there wasgold in the material they have chosen to pan. When nothing is found, they will be unsure if it is because of poor panning technique or just because there was no gold to start with. It is very important to have confidence so that when a particular spot is sampled with a pan a few times and nothing is found, the decision can be made to try panning somewhere else.

Other items handy for gold panning are rubber gloves for protection from cold water, rubber boots, a small shovel or large scoop, a small pry bar and, of course, a snuffer bottle. Be sure to have a bottle to put the gold in. Do not use glass, as it can be too easily dropped and broken. An optional item that can be a real aid is a half-inch screen. Screen the material into the pan while underwater, carefully washing, and then discarding the larger rocks. This speeds things considerably and makes panning easier. Dump the rocks next to you where you can spread them and look for a large nugget that did not go through the screen. Large nuggets are rare, but it could happen!

 

NEXT IS THE question of where to go gold panning. Always attempt to go where gold has already been found, as stumbling on an unknown gold deposit is not likely to happen. Be sure that the area is open to the public, or that permission is obtained from whoever has jurisdiction over the property. For most visitors with limited time, it will be best to stick with known public sites. These can be easily found on the internet.

When panning, it usually will make more sense to spend extra time and effort filling the pan with quality material. For example, splitting bedrock crevices and cleaning them thoroughly can take some time, but the material produced will usually have a better chance of producing a good showing of gold than simply filling the pan with a couple shovels full of bank material. Panning can produce substantial amounts of gold, but the material must be chosen carefully for good results. Good luck, and good panning!

Editor’s note: Steve Herschbach operates the gold website detectorprospector.com. Email him at contact@detectorprospector.com.

60 Minutes Takes On Salmon Farms vs. Wild Salmon

We’re working on a profile on the upcoming salmon documentary, A Fishy Tale, that will run in our June issue. The argument that producer Sara Pozonsky is trying to convey in her film is the surplus of salmon fish farms in British Columbia and the alleged threat they might pose for wild salmon swimming in the adjacent waters. Pozonsky is hoping her film will be released fall, and 60 Minutes weighed in on the controversy with a report on Sunday night.

Here’s a link to last night’s episode, and if you missed it, it’s a very informative segment by Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

Wallas XC Duo Diesel Stove/heater Now Available For RVs, Trailers

By Andy Walgamott on May 9, 2014

THE FOLLOWING MATERIAL COMES FROM SCAN MARINE EQUIPMENT, U.S. IMPORTER OF WALLAS STOVES, OVENS AND HEATERS.

Twenty years ago, a small Finnish company set out to do what no one ever had before – build a diesel-fired marine stove that could be controlled and that could be converted into a cabin heater with one simple motion.

The next year, Wallas Oy of Kaarina, Finland, introduced the 95D/25, predecessor to the current Nordic Dt stove/heater. Clean, simple and using the safest and most power-dense of all available fuels – diesel No. 2, these products have revolutionized the business of providing clean, controllable cooking and heating in the limited confines of small boats.

XC Duo closed sm

Now for the first time, Wallas has turned their attention to the building of a product based on the same principles, but developed for on highway and off-road vehicles. The result? The XC Duo diesel stove/heater.

XC Duo open sm

Simple, quiet and safer than pressurized fuel devices, an XC Duo will assure your vehicle needs no pressure tanks or concern over regulations forcing it away from parking garages or tunnels during federal or local alerts.

XC Duo arrows sm

A Wallas XC Duo draws less than an amp of DC current for every hour it runs. It uses between 3 and 7 ounces of fuel per hour, depending on where the power is set. The XC Duo has a room temperature sensing feature that will allow it to hold temperature in the room accurately and steadily without user intervention, and it is capable of operation from below sea level to over 9,500 feet.

Able to reach surface temperatures over 1,100 degrees F, a Wallas XC Duo is a great cooking system, with an easy-to-clean Schott Ceran ceramic cooking surface. It is truly an efficient and elegant solution to the needs of a serious camper and anyone wanting freedom to roam.

The XC Duo will be on display for the first time at the Overland Expo May 16-18 in Flagstaff, Arizona. Have a look for yourself and tell us what you think!

For more, see our website, scanmarineusa.com.

Record Bear? Depends On Who You Talk To

Record? Or Not? Photo courtesy of Larry Fitzgerald

The debate about records amuses me. Baseball’s true home run king? Barry Bonds’ detractors say he wasn’t clean through rampant rumors of his alleged steroid abuse, and he didn’t endure the ignorant racist hate thrown at Henry Aaron – imagine if he Twitter was around in Hank’s era? (I’m anything but a Barry Bonds fan – in fact I detested his surly attitude –  and love Hank Aaron’s courage, but baseball allowed years of drug abuse by its players, so there’s no debating that Bonds hit more home runs than Aaron, so end of argument in that context).

In the outdoor sports world, George Perry’s largemouth bass record of 22 pounds, 4 ounces is still official over 80 years later, but several reports have surfaced, like here, and here, and here, that have created plenty of controversy over the most famous fishing record in these parts.

So it’s not surprising that another apparent record seems to be in dispute. On Wednesday, media outlets reported a giant grizzly bear harvested by hunter Larry Fitzgerald in 2013 was determined to be the largest bear ever taken by a hunter. 

Here’s a portion the Fox News report:

Although Fitzgerald shot the bear last September, Boone and Crockett, which certifies hunting records, has only now determined the grizzly, with a skull measuring 27 and 6/16ths inches, is the biggest ever taken down by a hunter, and the second largest grizzly ever documented. Only a grizzly skull found by an Alaska taxidermist in 1976 was bigger than that of the bear Fitzgerald bagged.

Bears are scored based on skull length and width measurements, and Missoula, Mont.-based Boone and Crockett trophy data is generally recognized as the standard. Conservationists use the data to monitor habitat, sustainable harvest objectives and adherence to fair-chase hunting rules.

But the Anchorage Daily News has a different take on the subject today, arguing that some of the news hasn’t been completely accurate, if technical:

Here’s the ADN’s Craig Medred on the confusion:

That a nine-foot grizzly is the largest bear killed by a hunter in Alaska is likely to come as a surprise to Alaskans, some number of whom — hunters or not — might have seen 10-foot grizzly bears. This small fact, however, seems not to have entered the consciousness of the mainstream media as of yet.

“Alaska bear largest to be killed by hunters,” headlined The Spokesman-Review in Washington state.

“An Alaska hunter bagged a massive grizzly bear that has been certified by the Boone and Crockett Club as the biggest bruin ever taken down by a hunter,” reported the New York Daily News.

Well, not exactly. There is no doubt that 35-year-old auto body repairman Larry Fitzgerald killed a nice trophy, but lost in all of the hullabaloo over his bear is the fine print that defines Alaska’s record bruins.

Fitzgerald’s kill is a record bear only because it was shot north of the Alaska Range. South of those mountains slicing through Denali National Park and Preserve, his bear would be just another big bear. That’s because the record-keeping Boone and Crockett Club arbitrarily splits Alaska brown/grizzly bears into two separate categories — grizzly bears and brown bears. The world-record Alaska brown bear, taken in Kodiak in 1952, is much larger.

The state of Alaska doesn’t recognize the distinction between a grizzly bear and an Alaska brown bear, nor do wildlife scientists. Both say the only real difference is diet.

Read more here: http://www.adn.com/2014/05/07/3460036/giant-grizzly-is-one-for-some.html?sp=/99/474/#storylink=cpy

So there you have it. Another debate for two hunters to have while sharing a Happy Hour draft at pubs everywhere.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yukon River Chinook Fishing Closed

PHOTO COURTESY OF USFWS ALASKA

PHOTO COURTESY OF USFWS ALASKA

 

The Yukon River’s Chinook salmon fishery has been on the decline in recent years. In 2010, then Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke declared a “fishery failure” and a “disaster” in the Yukon for low fish returns.

On the heels of a 30-year-worst king salmon run in the Yukon, local fishermen pleaded to shut down the fishing with another dismal projection expected. From the Anchorage Daily News: 

Last year’s Chinook run was the worst on record dating back to 1982. Biologists estimate that only 76,000 kings returned to the Yukon River, which is only one-quarter of what the chinook run averaged 15 or 20 years ago. 

Subsistence fishing was drastically reduced as a result, much the way it has been for the last several years in what is the state’s largest king salmon subsistence fishery, which has prompted multiple disaster declarations by Gov. Sean Parnell.

Based on information laid out in Tuesday’s meeting, which was sponsored by the Yukon River Drainage Fisheries Association, the situation doesn’t look any more promising this year. In fact, subsistence fishing may be reduced even more this year to try and get more fish to spawning grounds in Canada.

Biologists are projecting a king salmon run between 64,000 and 121,000 this summer. Given that runs the last several years have come in at the low end of the projection range, biologist Dr. Stephanie Schmidt said ADFG will manage for a run of only 64,000, which would mean a border passage of only about 32,000 kings. …

“These fish are not going to be here forever, not the way we’re catching them,” Huntington told dozens of fishermen sitting around tables in the Binkley Room at Pike’s Waterfront Lodge on Tuesday during a pre-season planning meeting with fisheries managers from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. “It wouldn’t hurt to take a few years off and say, ‘Let them go.’ There are other fish out there.”

You know things are bleak when even those who depend on the fish in the river are urging those who make the tough decisions to make a very tough decision.

Here’s a portion of today’s report from CBC expected to shut down the river as the season approaches in the summer:

Fishery manager Jeff Estensen says that includes subsistence harvesters.

“The fishermen on the Alaska side of things can really expect to see no opportunity to fish for Chinook salmon at all in 2014,” Estensen says.

In the 1990s, the Chinook run averaged more than 300,000 fish.

Since 2008, fewer than half that number have returned to the Yukon River.

 

 

 

 

 

Alaska State Troopers Lose Two In Line Of Duty

This isn’t hunting or fishing related, but our thoughts are with the two Alaska State Troopers killed in the line of duty in the village of Tanana on Thursday.

RIP Sgt. Patrick Johnson and Trooper Gabriel Rich. The two officers have appeared on the National Geographic Channel show Alaska State Troopers. 

Saddened by loss of 2 #AlaskaStateTroopers yesterday. Our deepest condolences to their families and the entire force. pic.twitter.com/iRkwoQyARl

Embedded image permalink

 

 

 

Sweet Deals On Two Most ‘Overlooked’ Weeks At Katmai Lodge

email_header_02
By Andy Walgamott, on April 30th, 2014

Fly fishing season is upon us. Presently we are very busy loading up supplies and making sure Katmai Lodge is ready to open in June. We are very excited to begin this season with you.

(KATMAI LODGE)

(KATMAI LODGE)

Katmai Lodge would like to offer you a ONE-TIME SPECIAL PRICE of $5,000 for a SEVEN-NIGHT STAY on two of the most overlooked weeks of the year.

JUNE 28-JULY 5
This week was last year’s BEST for king and sockeye fishing as well as great trout and grayling. With the mild winter and early spring, the Alagnak River should be in prime shape for another early arrival of kings en masse.

(KATMAI LODGE)

(KATMAI LODGE)

Coupled with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game wanting to get sockeye escapement into the river, this is the most consistent week for non-stop numbers. It’s also a perfect time for trout and grayling on mice and other dry flies.

JULY 26-AUGUST 2
Always wanted to learn to fly fish? Catch that king salmon on the fly? This week of transition is the time 90 percent of our king run is already here and the chum salmon run is at its peak. With the onset of the pink salmon run and shots at silvers, the river will be boiling with fish (only sockeye are unavailable at this time) – and it is all here waiting for you, all at a time without pressure on the river though not for a lack of great fishing!

(KATMAI LODGE)

(KATMAI LODGE)

Katmai Lodge offers personalized fishing adventures for groups of all sizes and experience levels. Accessed through its private airstrip with its own amphibious equipped de Havilland Turbine Otter, the main lodge rests atop a bluff overlooking the Alagnak River, offering hundreds of miles of fishing in Alaska’s only designated Trophy Fishing Area.

(KATMAI LODGE)

(KATMAI LODGE)

Already one of the great fishing ecosystems in Alaska, fishing on the Alagnak continues to improve. The pristine river is uniquely home to all five Pacific salmon species along with native stream fish such as rainbow trout, Arctic grayling and Dolly Varden/char, with four or five salmon species spawning within 2 miles below and 45 miles above the lodge.

(KATMAI LODGE)

(KATMAI LODGE)

The region is also home to a diverse array of wildlife, which provides amazing photo opportunities.

An experienced guide staff personalizes each guest experience, making use of the lodge’s 40 boats to explore the full range of the Alagnak. Our river-based lodge is only 10 minutes away from tidewater. Its diverse fleet of both jet and prop boats allows for both sea-fresh salmon and rainbow trout fishing, while the lodge’s floatplane enables easy access to Katmai National Park for viewing the renowned Brooks Falls brown bears and for fishing the area’s many blue-ribbon trout streams.

When off the water, anglers are encouraged to enjoy the unrivaled amenities of Katmai Lodge, which boasts more square footage per guest than any other lodge in Alaska. World-class chefs prepare hearty breakfasts and gourmet dinners in the central dining room.

(KATMAI LODGE)

(KATMAI LODGE)

The main lodge includes a fully stocked fly-tying area complete with expert instruction, central gathering place, a clothing and gift shop as well as Internet access. Adjacent guest cabins welcome anglers to rest and relax, offering the privacy of individual common areas.

The high season for Alaskan salmon fishing at Katmai Lodge runs from late June through September, with trout season opening June 8th. For reservations or to inquire about group packages, anglers should visit the newly launched website at www.katmai.com or call 1 (800) 330-0326 for more information.