The Anchor River is one of the premier salmon streams on the Kenai Peninsula, supporting runs of King, Silver, and Pink salmon, as well as Dolly Varden and Steelhead. Salmon there rely on healthy habitat for successful reproduction and cold water temperature to prevent disease. In an effort to protect salmon habitat and resources on the Anchor River, the Kachemak Heritage Land Trust partnered with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Cook Inletkeeper, the Kachemak Bay Research Reserve, and the Audubon Society to develop management responses and protect watershed resiliency to climate change. This effort compliments a nationwide movement of land trusts to consider accelerated climate change when prioritizing land parcels for preservation. On the Anchor River, thermal imagery and ground water flow have informed the protection of cold water refugia, or areas of climatic stability, that are vital to the survival of salmon as stream temperatures rise.
Join the Kachemak Heritage Land Trust and partners for a tour of properties held to safeguard cold water refugia on the Anchor River. KHLT staff will discuss how science-based partnerships are important for building species resiliency and protecting river corridors. You will learn about the salmon stream temperate monitoring and thermal imagery network used to identify thermal impact to salmon habitat, and you will get your hands wet discovering the importance of cold water seeps to overwintering juvenile salmon.
Please note: Transportation to the Anchor River will be provided from the Alaska Islands and Ocean Visitor Center. This trip is limited to 20 participants, depending on transportation. Access to some of these sites is VERY icy- please bring ice cleats. Binoculars are encouraged for birding viewing at the Anchor River estuary.
When the weather outside is frightful, the birding can still be delightful! Winter birding can be a very productive and rewarding opportunity for birders to add unique northern species to their lists. The best place to look for birds in the winter is near open water. At this time of year many marine birds congregate in mixed flocks, giving birds the chance to see several different species close together. This makes winter an ideal time for watching overwinter sea ducks, murrelets, loons, and different shorebirds.
Join the Kachemak Bay Birders for local birding tips to improve your winter birding experience!
Transportation will be provided from the Alaska Islands and Ocean Visitor Center to top birding spots along the Homer Spit. This is an outdoor event, so please dress warmly in layers and wear warm, sturdy foot wear. Participants are encouraged to bring their own binoculars, although there will be some and spotting scopes available for common use.
The Kasitsna Bay Laboratory is a unique marine research and teaching laboratory located near Seldovia Alaska, across Kachemak Bay from Homer. The laboratory is owned by NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) and operated in partnership by NCCOS and the School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF).
Dedicated to excellence in marine science, community and formal education, Kasitsna Bay Laboratory is a place where people can learn about marine and coastal ecosystems, with a focus on subtidal and intertidal terrestrial communities including kelp beds, seagrass and tidal flat communities as well as the deeper waters of Kachemak Bay. Join Kasitsna Bay Director, Kris Holderied, and UAF-SFOS professor, Brenda Konar, for a virtural tour of ongoing research projects, including studies on kelp forests, intertidal communities, and nearshore marine ecosystem changes. Also explore the challenges and excitement of coldwater diving and research.