Set my traps a few days ago. I’d caught so few marten along the beach, I thought I’d go to the base of the ridge across from our cabin on Admiralty Island and see if that would be more productive. I hiked up the hillside, and realized when I got up near the ridge base that I would have to post-hole through a quarter mile of open country to get to the base of the ridge, and was not up for that. I’d set a few traps across the uphill side of a series of beaver ponds near the bottom, and a few sets on the way up the hill.

I returned today, and got a small mink for my efforts and no marten. I am on the local Fish and Game advisory committee, and another member mentioned he’d trapped the same area I was in the past 2 years, but not this year, so that may explain the low numbers.

The weather has been just plain nutty. It’s snowing feet at my brother’s in Virginia, is 18 degrees in my hometown in Bolivar, NY, and yet it’s about 40 here, with most all the snow gone at sea level. The forest floor was bare when checking the traps today. Even on the slope, it’s hovering around zero in Feb, when I’d expect it to be twenty below at least.

I got one of my wood piles restocked this time off. I put in so many logs the year before last that I think the wood I have in the round will last a decade or more. Seemed like not enough work to buck up, split and stack the woodpile storage area that we’d emptied this winter. Another of equal size is almost empty, so I’ll probably fill that next time off.

I had two Mali assignments planned for this spring, but one has been cancelled, so looks like one left. I’ve been boneing up on my fisheries science as we’ll try to set up a fish sampling program there so Mali can track their fisheries and institute some conservation measures if necessary on the Niger River.

Mark Stopha
Alaska Wild Salmon Company
4455 N. Douglas Hwy
Juneau, AK 99801

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