Big Lake, Alaska and The Susitna Valley News, Weather, Events, And More

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Friday, January 19 2018 @ 12:20 AM AKST


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Mandatory Crossbow Education Course Now Available Online

Fish and Game(STATEWIDE) — A new online crossbow education course is now available on the Alaska Department of Fish and Game's website. The course — along with an accompanying field program — is mandatory under regulations that go into effect this summer requiring hunting certification for those who use crossbows to take big game in Alaska.

Beginning July 1, 2018, only hunters who have successfully completed a department-approved crossbow certification course may use crossbows to take big game in Alaska. Regulations mandating certification were adopted by the Alaska Board of Game in 2016.

Alaska's online crossbow education course provides instruction on crossbow techniques, safety, wildlife conservation, and outdoors preparedness. After passing a test covering the online curriculum, hunters must attend a field day and successfully complete a proficiency shoot. Crossbow certification is awarded to those who complete both portions, and certification cards must be carried in the field while hunting.

For more information about crossbow hunting education and requirements in Alaska, or to participate in the department's online crossbow education course, visit the Crossbow Education webpage at or contact Ginamaria Smith at (907) 267-2196 or .

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Alaska Draw Hunt Deadline is Dec. 15 – Apply Now!

Fish and Gamevia Email

Greetings hunters,

I'm writing to remind you that the application period for Alaska's 2018-2019 big game drawing hunts ends December 15, at 5 p.m., Alaska time. Don't let your opportunity to apply for these hunts get lost in the holiday season shuffle!

Applying is easy. Check out the drawing hunt options featured in the 2018-2019 Alaska Drawing Permit Hunt Supplement. Or, if you prefer, supplement hard copies are available at Alaska Department of Fish and Game offices and most hunting and fishing license vendors.

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Little Susitna River Bait Restriction Lifted

Fish and GameEffective today, through 11:59 p.m. Saturday, September 30, 2017, anglers will be allowed to use bait in the Little Susitna River from its mouth upstream to the Parks Highway.

The Little Susitna River coho salmon sustainable escapement goal (SEG) is 10,100-17,700 fish. An emergency order effective August 6, 2017, prohibiting bait on the Little Susitna River was issued to slow the rate of harvest, while the run continued to be assessed. In general, the coho salmon run to Cook Inlet is late and low water conditions through much of the season have likely exacerbated the late run timing to area streams. Daily weir counts have recently increased and the cumulative escapement as of Wednesday morning, August 23, is approximately 9,435 coho salmon and the SEG is projected to be met.

For more information, contact Samantha Oslund at (907) 746-6300.

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Big Lake Fishing Violations

Fish and GameOn 05/23/2017 at approximately 7 pm, Virgil Schumacher, age 37 of Big Lake, was contacted by an Alaska Wildlife Trooper, MATSU West Post, while fishing flowing waters in Big Lake. Investigation revealed that Schumacher was fishing in closed waters and did not possess a valid 2017 sport fishing license. Schumacher was issued a citation for fishing in closed water and given a warning about fishing without a license. Schumacher was then released from the scene.

On 05/21/2017 at approximately 1:35 pm, John-Wesley McIntyre, age 38 of Anchorage, was contacted by an Alaska Wildlife Trooper, MATSU West Post, while fishing flowing waters near Big Lake. Investigation revealed that McIntyre did not possess a valid 2017 sport fishing license. McIntyre was issued a citation and was released from the scene.

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Use of Bait Where Prohibited

Fish and GameOn 04/30/2017, Alaska Wildlife Troopers issued a citation to Gale Lancaster, age 35 of Big Lake, for Sport Fishing with bait in waters closed to fishing with bait. Bail was set at $ 110, in the Palmer District Court.

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2017 King Salmon Sport Fishing Annual Limit Restrictions for Little Susitna River

Fish and GameAnglers are advised that in an effort to meet king salmon escapement goals in the Susitna River and Little Susitna River drainages, the following sport fishing restrictions are in effect beginning Monday, May 1, 2017 in the Susitna River drainage (Units 1-6) and Little Susitna River (please refer to the 2017 Southcentral Alaska Sport Fishing Regulations Summary booklet for a complete description of these waters). These restrictions are similar to those contained in preseason emergency orders issued in 2016 for Eastside Susitna tributaries (Units 2, 3, 5, and 6 of the Susitna River) and much of the Yentna River drainage; some of the restrictions that were in place at the start of the 2016 season on the Deshka River, Talachulitna, and Little Susitna rivers are being relaxed for the 2017 season:
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Class on Canning Fish @ The Big Lake Library

Fish and GameContributed by Roma Scougal, Big Lake Public Library

The Big Lake Public Library Presents: Food Preservation-Canning Fish. April 25th, 6-7:30 pm.

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Don't Feed the Bears! It's Time to Take Down Birdfeeders, Clean Up Trash

Fish and GameApril sunshine is softening snowdrifts, returning geese are cackling from Cordova to Creamer’s Field, and bears are beginning to stir in all points in between. It’s springtime in Alaska, and that means time for Alaskans to be "bear aware."

"We've had reports of bear sightings now in Anchorage, Eagle River, and Chugiak," said Anchorage Area Wildlife Biologist Dave Battle. "People need to bring in their bird feeders, clean up trash, dog food—anything that might seem tasty to a hungry bear."

In Southeast, bears are already getting into trash in the Juneau area, according to Department of Fish and Game Information Officer Riley Woodford.

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Class on Food Preservation @ The Big Lake Library

Fish and GameContributed by Roma Scougal, Big Lake Public Library

The Big Lake Public Library Presents: Food Preservation Overview. April 18th 6-7:30 pm.

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Division of Sport Fish Launches Email Subscription Service

Fish and GameThe Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Division of Sport Fish announced the launch of an email subscription service, which will allow the public to subscribe to receive regional news releases, emergency orders and other fishing information via email.

"We're pleased to be able to provide fishing information directly to the angling public in a timely manner using this service," Lisa Evans, the Assistant Director of the Division of Sport Fish said. "This service is very easy to use, it's fully customizable and it allows the user to manage their subscriptions based on their preferences. In addition, with a large number of the angling public carrying smart phones, people can now be out enjoying our sport fishing resources while getting the most up-to-date news."

Everyone can subscribe by using this link, or by visiting the division website and selecting the "Subscribe" button.

For more information about the division's email subscription service, contact Terry Thompson at (907) 226-4656, or .

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Rocky Lake Bathymetric Map and Fishing Information

Fish and GameRocky Lake

Bathymetric Map and Fishing Information

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Big Lake Bathymetric Map and Fishing Information

Fish and GameGeneral Information

Mean Depth: 9.1 m (30.0 ft.)

Maximum Depth: 27.1 m (89.0 ft.)

Shoreline Length: 41.8 km (26.0 mi.)

Management Area: Mat-Su

USGS Map: Anchorage C-8

Surface Area: 1,009.7 ha (2,495.0 acres)

Volume: 111,905,151 m3 (3,951,893,143 ft3)

Elevation: 43 m (141 ft.)

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Alaska Board of Fisheries to Meet in Anchorage, February 23–March 8, 2017 on Upper Cook Inlet Finfish

Fish and GameThe Alaska Board of Fisheries (board) will meet February 23–March 8, 2017, at the Anchorage Sheraton Hotel, 401 E 6th Avenue, Anchorage, Alaska. During this 14-day public meeting, the board will meet to consider 174 proposals regarding finfish issues submitted by the general public, fishing organizations, local Fish and Game Advisory Committees, and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

In addition to submitting written public comments, the board invites the public to give oral public testimony during the meeting beginning February 23. Any person intending to testify must sign up at the meeting site at the Anchorage Sheraton Hotel in Anchorage. The tentative deadline for signing up is 2:00 p.m. on Friday, February 24. Public testimony will continue until members of the public who signed up before the deadline and are present have been given an opportunity to testify.

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State Files Lawsuit Challenging Recent Federal Hunting Regulations

Fish and GameThe State of Alaska filed a lawsuit on January 13th, 2017, challenging the National Park Service’s (“NPS”) and Fish and Wildlife Service’s (“FWS”) regulations attempting to prohibit certain hunting methods on national wildlife refuges and national preserves. Among other consequences, the NPS and FWS rules would impact some of the customary and traditional methods of harvest practiced by Alaska’s subsistence users.

“As Alaskans, we have a unique relationship with our land – especially in the most rural parts of our state where residents rely on hunting and fishing to put food on the table,” said Governor Bill Walker. “These regulations impact our basic means of survival. Alaskans must be able to provide for their families, and the rules that have been put forward by the federal government do not support that.”

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Final Notice - December 15 Draw Deadline

Fish and Game

Greetings Alaska hunter -

The opportunity to apply for Alaska big game drawing hunts is almost over! The deadline is December 15th at 5:00 p.m. Alaska time (AKST). We at ADF&G don’t want you to miss out so we’re sending you this final email reminder.

A few important changes this year we want to make sure you are aware of:

Applicants may apply for up to six hunts for the same species. For more information and restrictions see the Alaska Drawing Permit Hunt Supplement.

You may apply for the same hunt up to 6 times for most hunts. See the Alaska Drawing Permit Hunt Supplement for more information and to see which hunts are exceptions.

License fee increases coming: Hunters are reminded that fees for resident and nonresident Alaska state hunting licenses and tags will increase on January 1, 2017. Until then, licenses and tags for the 2017 hunting season may be purchased at 2016 prices.

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