They Are Champions  

Posted by Stan Harrington

In Anchor Point, Alaska we have just completed our 16th Annual Calcutta King Salmon International Tournament. If you are not familiar with a Calcutta Tournament. In this particular case, all of the boats entering the tournament are auctioned off the night before the tournament to the general public. The person that has the "high bid" on a boat and if that particular boat wins the tournament, the "high bidder" receives 50% of the funds generated by the auction. The boat or individual on that particular boat that weighs in the largest King Salmon will receive 25% of the auction funds. This amount is then normally divided equally with the other members on the boat. The tournament is restricted to one prize money for the largest King Salmon weighed in. The "one fish wins all" encourages catch and release of this great sport fish. The remaining 25% is of the funds is retained by the sportsman association to fund their "youth activities".

In the Sixteen year history of the Tournament, King Salmon in the 20 to 50+ pound class have won the tournament. Also, in the history of the tournament, only one boat has repeated as the "Calcutta Tournament" champion. The boat is the "Lauren A" skippered by Meryl Wolford.
However, that record was broken in the tournament this year when this same boat, skipper,and crew completed a "Three Peat". Meryl and his crew won the tournament in 2000 with a 31.1 pound King Salmon; again in 2006 they became the Champions with a 37.4 pound King Salmon.
This year, they achieved their Championship with a King Salmon weighing in at 30.5 pounds.

This crew fishes together every year, not necessarily to win the tournament but just to go fishing. They are all true gentlemen and sportsmen. I have known Meryl, for many years. I consider him as one of my best friends. He retired as a Sports Fishermen Guide a couple of years ago, however when fishing with him it was never a guide / client relationship. He always made you feel that you were on a fishing trip with a "buddy".

Meryl worked out of our tackle shop, the Anchor Angler on Anchor River for twenty three years. He was a "salmon troller" on Cook Inlet. During that time, we would book clients for him on a percentage basis. We never had a contract, our contract was a handshake. In that length of time and the hundreds of fishermen that we booked to fish with Meryl, we did not have a single complaint from anyone that fished with him. He is still the only man that I know that removes his hat when being introduced to a lady. He is "old school", a true gentleman. He is my friend and I feel very fortunate. He is a true "Champion" in so many respects.

Oh, Did I mention that it was just Meryl and I trolling off the beaches of Whiskey Gulch when I hooked up and landed the King Salmon of my "lifetime", a beautiful fish weighing in at 72 pounds.

2010 Calcutta International King Salmon Tournament Champions

Save Your Butts  

Posted by Stan Harrington

DISCLOSURE: To be fair and balanced, I feel that a complete personal disclosure must be made prior to your reading this posting. I am a Conservative, Independent Republican, Smoker, Tea Bag Supporter, WASP, and Butt Stripper. Other than that, I am basically a good person.

Although, I am a smoker, I do not recommend that anyone take up the habit. Once hooked, it is a very tough habit to break and as I am reminded each day, it is harmful to your health. However, there is a good side to smoking and everyone should be made aware of this fact. Smoking could also be a excellent way to supplement your daily income, if you collect "butts" for a proposed refund.

On this date, I read an article that was most interesting. According to a study conducted and published in the American Chemical Society bi-weekly journal, Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, scientists have identified nine chemicals in cigarette butts (filter). Although, one chemical is so toxic that it will kill fish when discarded into a body of water. To eliminate this problem, I am normally a "butt stripper", I will discard the remaining tobacco and a little paper on the ground, but the filter goes into my pocket.

The chemicals that they have found in the filter portion of the cigarette after immersing the cigarette butt in water acts as a deterrent to corrosion and rusting. They applied the extracts to N80, a type of steel used in oil pipes and found that the chemical solution protected the pipes from both corrosion and rusting. They estimate that 4.5 trillion cigarette butts find their way into the environment each year.

Having discussed this discovery this morning, we had a panel discussion at our daily "coffee clutch" pertaining to accidental fuel spills due to pipelines being corroded. Although, these discussion groups have a tendency to become political, I came upon a concept that may well be a break through in regards to oil spill containment and clean up.

The "Tea Party" movement is spreading across our nation, concerned citizens about government control and the erosion of our democracy. To the Liberal minded folks, the "Tea Party" movement is a bunch of radicals and right wingers. The solution to improve their image in the eyes of all is simple. Currently there is a great concern, rightfully so, pertaining to the continued oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. It was then that I developed a concept and asked for opinions from our focus group. There was laughter as well as comments made as to my level of education. However, listen to me and buy stock in the company that makes Lipton Tea.

My concept was that a simple "tea bag" when used in vast quantities could and would clean up a oil spill. Perhaps, you can understand why I was the principle recipient of crude remarks. I asked the nice waitress if she would please bring me a bowl of cold tap water, some oil from a can of lubricant oil under the bar, and a tea bag. I then applied a good solution of common table salt to the water to attain the salinity of typical ocean waters. Once stirred for a couple of minutes to dissolve the salt, I applied a liberal amount of 3 in 1 oil to coat the surface of the make shift ocean. Dipping the "tea bag" into the oil water and moving the bag through the water, the oil was absorbed by the "tea bag". Approximately 90% of the oil was collected in less than two minutes. I came upon this clean up system from reading a little history pertaining to the "Boston Tea Party", "Taxation with Representation". On December 16, 1773 a fleet of ships were tied up in Boston Harbor. Colony Rebels boarded the ships and threw all of the tea into the harbor. No oil slicks were seen in Boston Harbor for many years following this date.

Perhaps, by cleaning up the Gulf of Mexico with Tea Bags, a new light would be shed on the group of individuals that are frowned upon by the Liberals and Environmentalists. If you want to amaze your friends, you to can be enlightened by this home experiment.

Passport Required  

Posted by Stan Harrington

Most recently, the "God Enriches" State of Arizona has been been bombarded in the news media after legislation was adopted and signed into law by the Governor requiring proof of citizenship. Protest marches and threats to boycott this great state has come from all sides. Despite the fact that it is simply enforcing the federal statues that were adopted in 1952, known as the Smith Act. Those folks that crunch numbers and take the pulse of the nation on everything that occurs has polling data supporting that 60% of our nation and 73% of Arizona residents support the enforcement of the new law in Arizona.


Although, you are required to show a U.S. Passport if driving into Alaska, via the Alcan Highway, once you arrive io the Last Frontier, you are free to drive the highways and byways of our great State. The single exception to that policy is the Kenai Peninsula. This pristine and beautiful area has become the playground of Alaska. This is particular true for those residents of our largest metropolitan area, Anchorage, Alaska. Traffic counts and other polling data indicates that the population of the Kenai Peninsula increases by 437% between the months of May through August.

Most recently, the Kenai Peninsula Borough, the duly elected government of an area designated by borders enacted a similar program as Arizona. In all other states, except Louisiana, these designated areas are known as counties. Due to the increase in cost of maintaining highways, parks, and other recreational facilities the Borough Government has been forced into limiting the number of visitors to the area. Kenai Peninsula Borough Ordinance 32-2010 was unanimously adopted on May 5, 2010 and signed into law by the Borough Mayor on May 6, 2010.

Effective, May 10, 2010 any person not residing within the geographical location of the Kenai Peninsula must have in their possession a Kenai Peninsula Passport. Port of Entries will be established at the base Turnagain Pass on the Seward Highway and at each of the harbor facilities in Kenai, Seward, Homer, and Seldovia. All person's entering the Kenai Peninsula from these primary points must have in their possession the Kenai Peninsula Passport indicating their current address, place of birth, date of birth, and citizenship. Each member of the family is required to possess a passport. To acquire a Kenai Peninsula Passport, you must provide proof of evidence as supporting documentation to obtain the Passport. The cost of each Passport is established at $50.00 and is valid for two years. Senior Citizens with a current address in Alaska is entitled to a free Passport as all children under one year of age if accompanied by at least one parent.

Possession of the passport is for identification and residency status only. It does not preclude obtaining current sport fishing and hunting license, King Salmon Stamps, Campground Passes, including those required by federal, state and borough facilities, boat launch fees and passes, and any other cost associated with recreational activities as may be deemed necessary by federal, state, borough, and city governments. While visiting the Kenai Peninsula, dependent of which locality that you visit, you can can also expect to pay a Kenai Peninsula Sales Tax as well as imposed Sales Taxes by incorporated cities. These fees will very dependent on the area that you choose to visit, minimum Sales Tax that you will encounter is 2.5% to a high of 7.5%.

Although, to some these additional restrictions may appear to be excessive, however, it is a small price to pay for a visit to paradise. Enjoy yourselves exploring the beautiful, Kenai Peninsula.

Working / Retriever Class Dogs  

Posted by Stan Harrington

Have been spending some time visiting the marsh land at the mouth of the Anchor River in order to photograph the migratory waterfowl that frequent this area in the spring. Until today, I have had only the Mallard and Merganser Ducks to entertain myself.

Drove down to the parking area overlooking the "Scum Bag Hole", a flock of Merganser played along the edges of the river across from me. Since no other vehicles were around, I let my two assistants out to exercise. "Dutch" and "Ruger" were exploring the grass and finding all kinds of new smells and other items to explore. As I sat awaiting their return, I notice three heads popping up in the marsh grass about a hundred yards from where I was parked. Recognizing them as geese, I prepared my camera. I knew that to get a good picture, I would need to cross the open space and get in as close as possible.

I stepped from my truck and slowly made my way through the marsh grass in my "tenny" runners. Not totally prepared for the marsh mud that I would encounter to get close enough. I went as far as I considered it to be safe, from both spooking the geese and having to "mud wallow". It was then I spotted "Ruger" back at the truck. I called him and he came a running. If you don't know "Ruger" he has had no formal training as a retriever and slightly handicapped with having only one eye. I pointed the geese out to him and his instincts kicked in, he did not run, he slowly and deliberately walked towards the geese. Stopping occasionally in order not to spook them. I was so proud of him in the way that he was working.

"Dutch" seeing that we were playing, joined me just as the flock of three geese went airborne.

"Ruger" On Hold

"One More Step"

"Geese Launch"

"Fly By" Past My Camera Lens"

The Geese then circled out over the inlet and came right back in to land at the edge of a small gravel bar in the Anchor River.

"Water Landing"

Both "Dutch" and "Ruger" had watched them circle and come back in for the landing on the gravel bar. They were just making the decision as to whether they should make a swim for the gravel bar or not when the Geese once again launched. Again, they made a circle flight pattern and landed in the original spot in the marsh where they were first spotted.

They are focused on the Geese, they just don't know if it is worth the swim to get them to fly again.

Having two muddy dogs, I decided it was best to give them a swim and let the Geese go back to what Geese do best. "Ruger" and "Dutch" enjoyed their first ball playing in Anchor River for this season. I was so proud of them both, neither barked at anytime and they stayed focused on those Geese the entire time they were airborne. I am still anxious to find a pond of ducks or geese that I can turn "Dutch" loose to see his ability at "tolling".

Additional shots on this outing are posted on