Child’s Glacier + Counting Salmon

July 16, 2015

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Our first day in Cordova, AK brought glacier sight-seeing, learning about the Copper River Delta and its tributaries, riding an airboat, and meeting a couple local fisherman.

Cordova is a beautiful little fishing town on the shores of Prince William Sound. The community is a small and tight-knit and extremely passionate about protecting their fish in the Copper River Delta. (Picture taken as we flew in Tuesday night.)

IMG_0024Yesterday morning we spent time learning about the Copper River Delta, its tributaries and these important waters for the spawning of the salmon in this area. The entire Copper River Delta is the size of West Virginia and some of the world’s best salmon are caught here, so it is important that these waters are protected.

Then it was off on a glacier sight-seeing tour on one of the only roads going out of town.

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After an hour road trip, we boarded an airboat to get across the river as the bridge collapsed a few years back.

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We then drove to the “Million Dollar Bridge” to be able to see two glaciers.

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Miles Glacier in the background.

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Child’s Glacier looking the opposite way off the bridge. The brown little building with a green roof is where the fish and game employees count the number of fish that pass this area of the river every day.

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This is the sonar equipment they use. Since the waters are so murky, they use sonar to count the number of fish. The structure on the right houses the sonar equipment and the structure on the left is just a net to force the fish to pass in front of the sonar equipment.

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Then inside the building, there are computers showing a live feed of the sonar information. For 10 minutes at a time, someone has to watch the screen and physically count and keep track of the number of fish that pass in front of the sonar. (I don’t recall how many times a day this is done, but I believe it this happens a few times each day.) This information is reported to another office that then determines when the commercial fisherman can be out fishing.

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Our last stop: lunch at Child’s Glacier.

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This was Cullen’s first experience at a glacier. The winds coming off the glacier are cold.

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Cullen fell asleep in the van ride back and even slept on our airboat ride back to the other side of the river. I was shocked he didn’t wake up because the boat is extremely loud!

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That evening we had dinner at the Reluctant Fisherman, a very popular restaurant in town. I had the halibut tacos which were delicious. We met two fisherman who have kept their family business going strong and shared what life is like as a fisherman.

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And today we’re headed out onto one of those fishing boats as long as the weather holds out!

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