BSAR: Open Water And Thin Ice Below Akiachak On Kuskokwim River

Checking the ice on the Gweek River.
Credit Courtesy of BSAR

Ice is slowly thickening on the Kuskokwim River, and more people are taking to the trails. Bethel Search and Rescue, along with other Search and Rescue volunteers from other villages, traveled from Bethel to Akiachak to check out the conditions. 

The trail that they traveled on runs from Hanger Lake and comes out to the Kuskokwim River just below the mouth of the Qipangluk. It then runs along the bank up to the Gweek River and ends at the Akiachak Airport. Normally the trail ends at the Kuskokwim River below Akiachak, but that section of the river still has open water and thin ice.

Bethel Search and Rescue volunteers found that ice averaged 10 inches on lakes and sloughs along the trail. The ice on the Kuskokwim River is so-called “rough ice,” or ice with ridges, that measures between 16 and 18 inches thick. The ice on the Gweek River averages from 8 to 12 inches thick.