Outdoor Briefs

Posted: Friday, April 18, 2003

Outdoor Briefs

Outdoor club planning activities

The Kenai Peninsula Outdoor Club's next planning meeting is scheduled for Wednesday at Ruben's restaurant in the Kings Inn in Kenai at 7 p.m.

At its regular monthly meetings, the club plans activities for the upcoming weeks. Activities are geared toward families or individuals and are both indoors and outdoors. Anyone is welcome to attend and share a wish list of activities to plan.

For more information, contact Mike at 283-3856 or Steve at 283-4132.

Volunteers needed for wood frog survey

The Alaska Natural Heritage Program in cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game will be conducting amphibian surveys this spring in the Cook Inlet area and is asking the public to help find frogs.

The program is seeking volunteers and volunteer coordinators of all age groups to help with wood frog calling surveys. People can contribute by simply visiting local ponds, bogs, marshes, temporary pools or roadside ditches and listening for the frogs' calls.

The ideal time to search for frogs is during the breeding season, which occurs in late April and early May.

To participate, contact project coordinator Tracey Gotthardt at (907) 257-2782, by e-mail at antg@uaa.alaska.edu, or visit the project Web site at www.uaa.alaska.edu/enri/aknhp_web/.

Black bear baiting permits available

Permits for black bear baiting on the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge will be available beginning Monday. Permits are free and can be obtained at refuge headquarters on Ski Hill Road in Soldotna weekdays between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. All black bear hunters hunting on the refuge must obtain a permit.

Permits are issued for exclusive square-mile areas within that portion of the refuge open to black bear baiting. Allocation of these areas is on a first-come, first-serve basis. The black bear baiting season on the refuge is from May 1 through June 15. All bait stations, whether on or off the refuge, also must be registered with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.

Archers wishing to take a black bear over bait on the refuge must have completed an approved bowhunting course. All hunters must have a valid Alaska hunting license and proof of completion of a bear hunter clinic in order to obtain a refuge bear baiting permit.

Fish and Game will offer a three-hour bear baiting clinic on May 2 at 6 p.m. at the Soldotna Sports Center during the sportsman's show.

For more information, contact refuge headquarters at 262-7021 or Fish and Game at 262-9368.

Yukon River Quest entry deadline May 31

The longest canoe and kayak race in the world, the Yukon River Quest, is seeking entries for its fifth annual running in late June.

The 460-mile paddling marathon is held on the Yukon River from Whitehorse to Dawson City in Canada's Yukon Territory. The race begins with a Le Mans style start in downtown Whitehorse just after noon on June 25. Teams must reach the Carmacks checkpoint 200 miles down river in 40 hours to stay in the race, and then must make Dawson within 96 hours to officially finish. The race record is 52 hours, nine minutes, but most teams average between 65 and 80 hours.

The Yukon River Quest grew out of the gold rush centennial Dyea to Dawson races and has increased in popularity each year, from 16 teams in 1999 to last year's record 36 teams. Organizers hope to reach the 50-team mark this year, and are actively soliciting teams in Alaska and the Yukon, as well as internationally through paddling magazines, canoe and kayak clubs, and its Web site, www.polarcom.com/~riverquest.

As of April 10, a dozen teams had registered, including overseas entries from Germany, England, Scotland and the Guernsey Channel Islands, and North American entries from the Yukon, Alaska, British Columbia, Manitoba, Texas, Ontario and Maine.

The "Maine Yahoos to the Yukon" were the first team to sign up for the popular voyageur canoe category. Other categories are tandem canoe, tandem kayak, and solo kayak.

Teams will compete for a total purse of approximately $19,500 Canadian. Entry forms and other information, from race rules to prize breakdowns per category, can be downloaded off the Web site. Deadline for entries is May 31.

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