by Bethel Search and Rescue
12/14/19 BSAR River Update—Report 2019-04*
BSAR marked the big open hole outside the upper end of Straight Slough today. With a good crew, good equipment, and willows pre-cut the day before by Earl Samuelson, Sr. and his grandson the work went quickly.
With daylight to spare the BSAR crew split up to go see the good work being done by our neighboring village SAR groups to keep winter travelers safe on the Kuskokwim. This is what was observed today:
• STRAIGHT SLOUGH MUST NOT BE USED AT THIS TIME—THE UPPER HALF IS STILL OPEN— BSAR BLOCKED OFF BOTH THE LOWER END AND UPPER ENDS WITH WILLOWS & BLUE REFLECTORS
• OPEN WATER AND VERY THIN ICE WAS FOUND BY NAPASKIAK SAR ABOVE NICK O. NICKS—THEY WORKED AT MARKING IT TODAY
• ALL KNOWN OPEN WATER BETWEEN BETHEL AND AKIAK HAS BEEN MARKED EXCEPT ONE:
• THERE IS ONE UNMARKED OPEN HOLE BEHIND THE SMALL ISLAND RIGHT OUTSIDE THE UPPER END OF KUSKOKWAQ SLOUGH
BSAR marked the big open hole in the main Kuskokwim River outside the upper end of Straight Slough. It took 250 willows to mark the North, East, and South sides of this hole. The west side is near the cut bank so was not marked—the narrow strip of ice along the west bank was blocked off in instead.
The Lone Ranger: Charlie Nicolai
Charlie spent two days all by himself marking the open water hole across from Wassilie B. Evan’s camp in Kuskokwaq Slough with nothing but an ice pick and a little blue reflector tape. He sets a good example for all of us. It only takes one caring person to watch out for the safety of others. Thank You Charlie!
A lot of good work by a lot of good people is being done out there on our River and trails as winter is slowly cooperating.
With colder weather in the forecast we are on track for a safe holiday traveling season but for now caution is still the word of the day. It should also be mentioned that the water level in the River is high and shell ice along the edges is present everywhere.
BSAR will continue to provide updates as conditions change. Thank you and Safe Travels from BSAR.
*Please note: this report is for informational purposes only and is not an advisory that it is safe to travel.