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If you go to McCarthy or Kennecott, you must visit BOTH towns. Each distinctly different. McCarthy is more a local/cultural/cool-alaskan-outpost. Kennecott is more of an artifact run by the National PArk Service (still very cool).
Written Dec 27, 2004
Alaska is salmon country. After a salmon reaches adulthood and has escaped becoming dinner for tuna or sharks it returns to the river or stream where it was born in order to spawn its progeny. But to get back to the hereditary spawning grounds it must first pass a guantlet of brown bears, commercial fishermen and tribal fishermen. The first two are admirable foes, but it is the Ahtna tribal fishermen with their mighty fishwheels that pose the greatest obstacle for the poor Sockeye and Chinook salmons.
The concept of the fishwheel is two huge baskets (scoops) turn continuously, powered by two paddles and the river's current. As the salmon swim upstream to spawn, the baskets effortlessly (and mercilessly) scoop them out of the river. The wheel continues to turn and the fish slide into a holding box.
Written Sep 23, 2004