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Online Extra subscribers to The Angling Report have already received a news-flash bulletin about the volcano that is erupting on the Alaska Peninsula and posing some threat to air travel in that region. Not to worry. As this is written on June 10, all scheduled and charter flights in the region are operating normally and observers are saying the extent of the eruption has moderated considerably. There is an excellent chance that all trips to the Peninsula and the Aleutians will proceed as normal this season. Still, if you have a trip booked in this area, stay in touch with your outfitter or agent.
The volcano that is erupting is Pavlof Volcano, located along the Aleutian Arc off the western coast of Alaska. The eruption began on the evening of May 30, 2014, and it escalated gradually over the next several days, according to a website called Earth Sky (http://earthsky.org/earth/eruption-subsides-at-alaskas-pavlof-volcano). “During June 2 to 4,” the site says, “fountains of lava and large plumes of ash and steam were detected over the volcano. At times, ash plumes up to 30,000 feet in height were observed. Officials issued a red/warning on Monday, June 2, to protect aircraft from the thick ash, which can damage engines. The red/warning was reduced to an orange/watch on Tuesday, June 3, as the eruptive activity subsided. Lower levels of eruptive activity continued throughout the week. On the morning of June 6, officials at the Alaska Volcano Observatory noted that the level of activity at Mount Pavlof had declined substantially.”
To date, the disruption caused by the volcano has been limited to a few scheduled flights into and out of Cold Bay and Dutch Harbor. Both PenAir and Alaska Airlines flights connecting Anchorage to Cold Bay and Dutch Harbor were canceled or delayed briefly for a few days.
The open question is what the volcano will do next.
Pavlof is one of Alaska’s most active volcanoes, and it has erupted about 30 times since 1901. The most recent previous eruption was June 26, 2013. Significantly, as this is written, officials point out that the volcano has not stopped erupting. They call the current situation “a pause in eruptive activity and greatly diminished ash emissions.” They say the activity “could abruptly intensify with increased lava fountaining, spatter accumulation, and generation of ash plumes with little or no warning. Even if ash plumes are not significantly above 20,000 feet, the amount of ash produced could interfere with local air travel.”
Clearly, fishermen traveling to this area of Alaska will want to keep an eye on things this season. One way to do so is by visiting the PenAir website (www.penair.com). Click on the Alaska Travel Alert button. A more direct way may be to call your agent or outfitter.
Don Causey Note: If you or someone you know experiences issues due to the volcano, let me know. Write: [email protected].