Saturday, July 30, 2011

July Wrap-Up

I can't believe we have reached the end of July! The summer is quickly coming to an end, if the weather has been any indication, and fall will be upon us soon. I'm not sure I'm ready to think about Fall and the cold, but I'm sure I will wrap my head around it at some point. Everything around here has been extremely busy. All sorts of people in and out of the office, but it's fun.
The weekend of the 16th, I helped Mike and Dolphin cut up some Chum for salmon strips... some of you might be thinking Chum, who eats Chum... well they are actually pretty great here (never thought I would say that) and they make great smoked strips. Well we cut them up and hung them to smoke and took down the strips that were already done. It was a lot of fun and something I hadn't done before, which made it great to learn. Also, they were super yummy and I ate too many of them.
Last Thursday (July 21), I headed up to the George River weir and made it back on the next Tuesday (July 26). It was great to see the fish weir in full swing and under operations. I helped with counts and ASL (age, sex, length) sampling and other little camp chores around the site. Josh and James were the only two up there when I arrived and on Monday Chris came into camp. Chris is one of the ADF&G supervisors we work cooperatively with for some of our projects (the weirs and fish wheels). It was great to have some overlap time with Chris and then head out. The greatest adventure I had was in driving the in-season boat (our 30-ft aluminum skiff, with a canopy and Honda 90 HP outboard) from the George River down to Aniak. This doesn't seem like a big deal, except I did it all by myself with no one else around. It takes about 2 1/3 to 3 hours to go from the George to Aniak and there are all sorts of gravel bars and shallow spots along the way. Luckily, I happen to be an awesome boat driver and made it all the way with no problems. I was definitely a little bit scared at first, but it all worked out.
Now this next Monday (August 1) Mike and I are headed up to the George and Tatlawiksuk weirs with Palma. Palma is the coordinator of our Partner's Biologist position and Partner's educator position. She likes to come out and observe the projects and see how things are going. It will also be a great chance for Mike and I to observe Scott F. (our educator) with his lessons. We have heard great things from the weir crews and interns about Scott and I'm so glad he is doing well and doing a great job. Then we come back on Thursday, so it is a rather quick trip! I really think it will be a lot of fun!
Oh, while I was up at George, I went sheefish fishing with James! I have never fished for a Sheefish before and it was so much fun! I caught four of them (and yes, I do have my fishing license)! I should mention that I beat James, he only caught two. He was bragging at the beginning how he outfishes everyone and then I kicked his butt. It was great, no one ever said I was competitive or anything, right? I had a lot of fun and I enjoy fishing more than I thought I would.
That's all for now. I'm sure I will have lots to say when I get back from the rivers! Mwah! XOXO

Friday, July 15, 2011

Cold Cold July

Wow, these last few days have just been flying by. I guess I would say I'm pretty settled into my job now and life in Aniak and things are going smoothly. I'm still learning what is expected of me and some of the other quirks about the job. I have been learning a lot about living in Aniak. Like any small town there is a far share of gossip and drama. Some of it is amusing and others of it are pointless and dumb. Alright I'm done ranting about small towns. Other than that (and absolutely no road system, which does have its benefits) I do like living in a small town. It's nice to live out here and I'm excited to see how the seasons change.
Right now we are having a pretty cold summer for Aniak, and by cold I mean low 50s. For those of you sweltering in the lower '48 and think that temperature might be nice, I'm sorry, but this is cold for a summer in Aniak. Apparently it means fall will be a bit nicer and warmer. The rain has been on and off and mostly misty at times, which is nice because it reminds me of being in the Southeast. It's nice to think I'm having the same weather as the rest of the family.
Things are working out at my cutesy cabin and I like there, but I'm thinking if I find something with a bit of a longer lease or better place for the money I might move. Which reminds me, there has been a bear in my neighborhood and I'm hoping a local shoots it before long. I've had a few people over for dinner at my place now and I've been baking up a storm. I just finished making a great chocolate cake (Ty's favorite) with homemade frosting. It is so nice having my own kitchen! I've been looking at getting baking supplies form the internet. Who knew you could buy baking cocoa, sugar and spices, etc all from Amazon. I think it's becoming my new favorite website. It really does have everything a person would need. Not to mention they have my favorite snack cookie, Annie's s'more bunnies! They are the best. If you haven't tried them, then you should.
I was able to head to the Kalskag fish wheels last Friday and it was loads of fun! I went to cover for one of my employees and take his shift. I was able to actually do some sockeye fish tagging and counting of the other species. For the tagging of the sockeye we use a t-tag and two different colors. There is a yellow tag that goes on all of the fish and if the fish is recaptured without the yellow tag, but one of the others then we are able to calculate tag lossage. Fish wheel one has a pink tag and fish wheel two has a green tag (with of course the yellow tag). It was a lot of fun and I really got to learn a new technique. I'm learning so much!
The other exciting news for the day is Mike just received word we got funding for the Bering Cisco project. This will be the first one where KNA fish is the principal investigator. I'm hoping I will be put on as a co-investigator. I can't wait. We will get to start next year. I think it will be so super great.
Oh and things just keep getting better, I'm going to be updating the KNA fish department website ( Right now I've just changed a few things, but I'm excited to be given the opportunity. Ahhhh so many great things! Love it!
Hmmmmmmm what else? Not much, just having all the fun! Miss you all and love you more! Mwah!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Happy Fourth Weekend!!!

I'm super excited to be spending the 4th of July in Aniak. The only thing I could see going wrong about this Monday is the weather being complete crap, but I think it will be great and even if the weather sucks, we will still have fun! Aniak is having a fair on the fourth, which will be fun. Lots of games, food, etc. I'm helping Connie sell sweatshirts and candy. Don't worry there will be lots of pictures!
Work has been the same old busyness. I'm still enjoying every minute and learning a lot. They closed the subsistence in the area for Chinook salmon for three days, people were not happy. At least it was only three days, I can't imagine if they close it longer. Lots of politics involved with fishing.
I went to Bingo night last night. It's one of the town's weekly events and there was a special one for the fourth of July. You don't win any crazy prizes, just money. I didn't win, but I was close a few times. It was funny to see many of the town people there, but nice to see them chatting and having fun. I can't imagine spending money every week to play Bingo, but it's something to do. After Bingo I hung out at Connie's. We had a bonfire and Grace and Danny came over. I'm just meeting all sorts of people here, and getting to know the town. I really like it. I'm glad I'm able to stay busy and I hope I can find things to do in the winter too.
Also! The cabin thing is going to work out. I can't wait to post pictures of it because it is incredibly cute and perfect for one person. I'll be renting it month to month until she sells it, but I don't think that will be anytime soon. I will hopefully be moving in around Tuesday (the 5th). It will be super great and I'm ready to have a little place to myself.
Well, not much more to say. I'm totally getting better at this blogging thing, but some days there is really nothing interesting going on! Love you all!