Thursday, April 23, 2015

Facts about Yak


  • The City and Borough of Yakutat covers an area 6 times the size of Rhode Island (9,463 square miles), making it one of the largest "counties" in the United States with a population of 662 residents.
  • Yakutat at one time had the only railroad in the U.S. built to carry raw fish.  It was retired in 1949 and is on display in the park entering town.
  • During WWII, the U.S. built a major paved airfield in Yakutat in 1941 as part of a long range defense program. The airfield remains today and serves Alaskan Airline commercial flights.
  • The Hubbard Glacier located within the borough, is North America's largest tide-water glacier.
  • Mt. St. Elias has an elevation of 18,008 ft (5,489 meters) with a grade of 50-60% on the upper slopes. It is the highest peak in the world so close to tidewater and the 2nd highest peak in the United States making it the 4th highest in all of North America.
  • It was first ascended in 1897 (after 8 attempts) and was the first of the giant Alaskan mountains discovered. 
  • Mt. St. Elias contains the worlds largest non-polar ice fields
  • Mt. St. Elias produces the largest single ice field in Alaska, called the Malaspina. Ice spreads from the mountain over 1500 square miles.
  • Wrangell-St. Elias  is the 2nd largest national park in the United States covering 13.2 million acres, of which, 5 million are permanently covered with snow and ice.
  • The Tongas National Forest is the US largest national forest and covers most of SE Alaska almost entirely surrounding the famous inside passage.
  • The Tongas encompasses some 17 million acres
  • The Tongas makes up  part of the Pacific Temperate Rainforest Ecoregion which is the largest of its kind on the Planet
  • The World Famous Situk River resides in the Borough of Yakutat within the Tongas National Forest.  It hosts arguably the largest naturally occurring self sustained Steelhead fishery in the world with recorded runs in excess of 10,000 fish.
  • The River is essentially pristine un-touched spawning environment in it's entirety.
  • During salmon season it is not unrealistic to have runs of silvers and chums in excess of 80,000 fish per species.
  • The Alaska Department of Fish and Game operate a fish counting Weir on the river and manage the fishery diligently.

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