Trivial Matters  

Posted by Stan Harrington

I was relieved to learn today that the Polar Pig that had been on loan to the Zoo in China survived the recent earthquake that devastated several cities. Reportedly Porky Polar Pig is being airlifted from China by our Military Sealift Command and will be returned to Anchorage on May 18, 2008. Upon his arrival, he will be transferred to a Black Hawk helicopter squadron and returned to Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to rejoin the herd, once again a proud and wild pig. (Reference article pertaining to the Polar Pig may be found on this site by looking in the archives for February 5, 2007.)

I Am So Happy That I Am No Longer Dangerous
Just Endangered

My Daughters Are Retired "Twisters"

The Wolf Pack Have Been Photographing And Eye Balling
The Arctic Hares That We Have Enhanced Into
The Hole In The Wall Recreational Area.
To Protect The Hares, We have Taken The Initiative
To Introduce Ducks. The "Duck House" Has Proven To
Be A Very Good Brood House. We Are Attempting To
Teach Them Not To Be Afraid Of The Wolf, Their
Bark Is Worse Than Their Bite.

Perhaps, In Time We Can Show The Wolf Pack That
We All Can Be Friends And Curtail Any Desire Of
Attacking and Eating Those That We Do Not Agree With.

A Recent Demonstration In Las Anchorage, A Group Of Seniors Protesting For The Re-Enactment Of The Longevity Bonus. Remember When We Use To Take Care Of Our Pioneers?

New Season  

Posted by Stan Harrington

Within just a few hours, the Sport Fishing season will once again commence on the Anchor River. The Anchor River has been a "family" tradition for many years. For the past 56 years or five generations we have fished the Anchor River.


At the current time, it is raining however the forecast is for sun over the weekend. Water conditions are high and muddy, however the North Fork is showing an almost perfect color before it mixes with the South Fork. The unfortunate news, is that the Sonar Counter is in operation and the majority of this lens is in the closed area. It will be slow fishing this weekend.


The Sonar Counter appears to be operational, however, no data has been provided by the Department of Fish and Game. Dependent on how read the past data, we could see another good year of King Salmon fishing this year. The stock level appears to be strong.

2007: 5/14 ~ 9/13 King Salmon Count: 9,527

2006: 5/15 ~ 8/24 King Salmon Count : 10,150 (Weir Washed Out)

2005: 5/13 ~ 9/9 King Salmon Count: 11,083

2004: 5/15 ~ 9/13 King Salmon Count: 12,016

2003: 5/30 ~ 7/9 King Salmon Count: 9,238


2007: Silver Salmon Count: 8,226

2006: Silver Salmon Count: 10,150 (Weir Washed Out 8/24)

2005: Silver Salmon Count: 18,956 (Weir Washed Out 9/9)

2004: Silver Salmon Count: 5,728

This year there was 198 days of winter which leaves only 167 days that could be classified as Sport Fishing Season. You have two options, look forward to shoveling snow for 198 days this coming winter or go fishing 167 days this summer. I know not what course others may follow, but I am going fishing.

King Salmon: $206.44 Per Pound  

Posted by Stan Harrington

The 14th Annual International King Salmon Calcutta Tournament is securely stowed away into the history books. We were fortunate to have a good day on the water, good number of fish showing throughout the area, and at the same time provided some income for the South Peninsula Sportsman Association.
However, for me it was a very long day and it was well into the evening hours of Mother's Day for me to catch up on the sleep that I had missed. My Tournament commenced at 5:00 p.m. on Friday in preparation for the banquet and the Calcutta Auction that would follow. By 6:00 p.m., the banquet room was filled with anxious fishermen only to discover that that the vendor had not anticipated the turn out and ran out of prepared meals. For the remainder, they had the choice of ordering from the menu.
At 7:00 p.m. the auction commenced, after the normal opening remarks and introduction of special guests, my cordless mike decided to work whenever it chose to do so. Getting frustrated with it several times throughout the early evening, I finally said "to hell" with modern technology and completed the auction by voice alone. As normal, my two partners, Terry and Patti did a marvelous job keeping books and keeping me on schedule. This year, the average boat sold for $232.50 with the high boat (Don T. Charters) going for $450.00 and the defending Champion at $425.00. The "big" sale of the night occurred with a jacket that a gentleman had left at his fishing buddies home a couple of months ago. The jacket showed back up at the auction and was sold back to the original owner for $70.00. By the time that the auction was completed, monies collected, and my staff had a meeting over cocktails, we were through for the evening by 11:30 pm.
Back at the office, I would remain up for the next three hours accounting for all the funds and working up the financial report. Finally retiring to my recliner at 3:30 and setting my alarm for 4:30 a.m. At the bell, I was up and making a pot of coffee to get me through the early morning hours. At 5:00 a.m., I was at the beach to check out the water conditions and to see if we would be able to fish. Had a great time visiting some of the fishermen that I had not seen over the winter. At 5:30, one single tractor started launching boats which provided a lot of frustration since the tournament was scheduled to commence at 6:00 a.m. Hanging around to watch a few boats launched, I retreated to the Anchor River Inn which was the "Official Derby Headquarters" this year. Leaving the boat launch, I traveled past a single file of boats for the next 1/2 mile that were waiting in line to launch.
Knowing that the Inn did not open until 8:00 a.m., my concept was to sneak in a couple hours of nap time in my truck until the first fish would be brought in. Pretty lonely in Anchor Point between 6:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m., whether I was to tired to sleep or my thermos of coffee kept me awake, I remained wide eyed until just before 8:00 a.m. when I witnessed the cook and waitress reporting to work. Shortly after this I drifted off into a nap land. I was awakened by a tapping on my truck window, opening one eye I peered out to see the waitress standing beside my truck with a cup of coffee in her hand. "Gee, Stan, I thought you might like a cup of coffee!" Thanking her for her thoughtfulness, I accepted her offering. As she retreated back to her responsibilities, I took a peek at my watch, it was 8:15 a.m.! My "big sleep " for the day was now completed.
Wandering from the truck to the lounge throughout the morning, the first King Salmon arrived at the scales to be weighed in at high noon. A nice 26.4 pounder, just two pounds less than the largest fish caught last tournament. From the cell phone calls, it appeared that we would be seeing a slow tournament. The next fish would not show up at the scales until 3:20 p.m., a 18.4 pounder. It now appears that the fishermen were playing the tournament close to the breast, by 4:00 p.m. a steady flow of fish started coming over the scales. A young man, age 15 brought in a 30.7 pounder to take the lead and also the top spot for the $300.00 bonus for the largest fish to be be taken by an angler under 16 years of age. At 1725, the big guy should up at the scales, this is the fish in the picture weighing in at 40.7 pounds and landed by Fred Hackney aboard the F/V Dream Catcher.
An hour later, he would be presented the Championship Check for the Tournament, his fish earned him $1,743.00. Following this, I would present a check to Tabor Ashmant, owner of the Sport Shed on the Homer Spit a check in the amount of $3,487.50 for having the foresight of buying the "Dream Catcher" at the auction. He had purchased this boat in the auction for $200.00. Not a bad investment. The remaining funds of the $8,402.00 generated would be turned over to the Sportsman Association.
This tournament was set up to be a small tournament with several goals in mind, the one fish wins it all was to reduce the kill ratio of fish that you normally see in a derby and it has proven to be effective, more fish are released in this tournament than are retained. The bidder on the winning boat gets the largest amount of prize money because they are the ones that are putting up all of the cash. The concept is to have a fun tournament to promote sportsmanship, in that effort we have been successful. After a few toddies to celebrate the winners, I quietly slipped away to get some much needed rest and prepare myself for the tournament next year.
In regards to recession that everyone is concerned about, there was no sign of it during this past weekend. In comparison to last year, we saw a decline of the average sale price of boats drop from $239.32 last year to $232.50 this year, a decrease of two gallons of gas.
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Eddie Arnold  

Posted by Stan Harrington

This mornings news was sad. Eddie Arnold passed away this morning in Tennessee at the age of 89, just a few days short of his 90th birthday. Eddie Arnold was one of the great Country Western singers often teaming up with Chet Atkins. He was born in Tennessee on May 15, 1918. He had a total of 145 songs that made the charts, twenty eight of them were Number 1 Hits. He originally was managed by Colonel Tom Parker, who would later become the Manager of Elvis Presley.

Eddie Arnold was always one of my favorites, just a few days ago I happened to find a LP Album that we had purchased back in the 1960's. He was one of the great ones. The links below will take you to just a few of his big hits. Eddie Arnold was inducted into the Country Western Hall of Fame in 1966.

Songs Of the Past  

Posted by Stan Harrington

Recently, while searching the web for an old song, "Sneaky Snake" by Tom T. Hall, I made a journey into the past. I spent the better part of two hours listening to "old songs" that I had not heard in years nor thought of the artist that had recorded them. It was a great trip into the past, not only the music but era that they were recorded.

The one artist that brought forth so many memories was Red Sovine. His music consisted of narrative stories, perhaps one of the best in the industry. Red Sevine was born on July 7, 1917 and passed away on April 4, 1980. In his early years he co-starred with Hank Williams (Senior), Webb Pierce, and George Jones. While with the Grand Ole Opry, he talked a young black, minor league baseball player into moving to Nashville and pursue a career in Country Western Music, by the name of Charlie Pride. He had several number one hits, his most popular were most likely; "Phantom 309", "Giddy Up and Go", and "Teddy Bear". I have linked three of my favorites.

With Mothers Day just one week from today, perhaps this is a song that you may want to listen to, if at times you become "just to busy to visit your mama".

As a father, I was fortunate to have two sons and two daughters.
I dedicate this next song with love to my two daughters.

This particular song brought back so many fond memories of my youth, when I did collect my nickels and dime, walking to town to attend the Saturday Matinee at the local Fox Theatre. Those days were different, when a little boy age seven to eleven could safely walk two miles to town without fear. Spending a dime to get into the movie and the rest of the change for a sack of penny candy. Roy Rogers, Hopalong Cassidy, Red Ryder, Gene Autrey, but there was one other western movie star that I have always admired, not only as a actor but as an American.

Spring Time Chores  

Posted by Stan Harrington

When you are a "homeowner", on occasion you are tasked with making minor home repairs. Spring is always a good the of the year to do these little chores. During the winter and ensuing spring breakup, we had a little problem occur with our waste disposal depository. If you are in the trades, it is called a septic tank. Anytime you are having to work with waste disposal systems, it is a nasty job. During the breakup, the earth moved and disconnected one of our stand pipes to the septic tank. Working on a septic tank will normally require the local excavator to bring in their equipment and dig up the yard. Unless, you are married to a homestead girl.

Assessing the task, despite the fact that we were concerned with the frost remaining in the ground, my lovely bride went to work with her basic hand tools. What a lady, within a few hours after my guidance of what to look for, she discovered the outlet for the stand pipe. Yesterday, she cleaned the area around the stand pipe, re-seated and secured the stand pipe, insulated it to hopefully eliminate the problem in the future, and refilled the hole that she had to dig to get to the problem. By sunset on the second day, she left the tank in better condition than when it was installed. For those that do not know my bride, she is a tough little gal and there are not to many jobs that she cannot accomplish when she puts her mind to it. As for me, I offered her technical advise but someone had to sit on the deck and take pictures.