Brace yourself, Fairbanks: The season's first snow is coming to Interior Alaska, at least according to the National Weather Service. A mix of rain and snow is expected in the Fairbanks area starting Tuesday afternoon and continuing through the rest of the week. Highs in the 40s and lows in the 20s to 30s are expected through the weekend.
Thirty winners at Homer halibut derby: The 27th Homer Jackpot Halibut Derby, which ended Sunday night, will see at least 30 winners. On top of 29 anglers who caught tagged fish worth a total of $18,000, Gene Jones of Bellevue, Iowa, won more than $20,000 for landing the biggest fish, a 236-pound flatfish he caught on a charter with Captain David Bayes aboard the boat Grand Aleutians. The biggest winner among anglers landing tagged fish was Monique Peters of Willow, who won at least $10,000. The exact amount will be announced at a Friday press conference. A halibut with a $50,000 tag sponsored by GCI escaped capture, however.
From nets to food banks, bycatch nonprofit gets illegal catch: Sport fishermen sometimes look at the bycatch excess of commercial fishing fleets as a possible cause for king runs crashing in the Gulf of Alaska and Bering Sea. But despite fish politics, it's reassuring to know that hundreds of thousands of pounds of bycatch are not cast away as so much industrial waste. Instead, a 20-year-old nonprofit named SeaShare delivers fish from nets to the neediest in Alaska, as it has for years. Read more about SeaShare bycatch management nonprofit profiled in the Homer News, along with a reminder that 106,000 Alaskans are food insecure or hungry on any given day.
Galena temporary shelter winter transition: Residents taking shelter in temporary housing in the Interior community of Galena are packing up and moving down the road. Folks are moving from the Bureau of Land Management dorms, which have housed residents all summer but aren't winterized, to the insulated Birchwood dorms to ride out the long, brutally cold Interior winter. Twenty-three people who have chosen to stay in Galena will need housing this winter, and Birchwood, a city-owned facility, can house them all, according to the state Department of Homeland Security. Read more about Galena's epic flood and reconstruction.
Assistance for St. Lawrence Island: Alaska Community Action on Toxics wants to make sure residents of the Bering Sea island have enough food for the winter after a devastating walrus harvest. The group is hoping to raise $35,000 by Dec. 1 to help feed residents of Savoonga and Gambell. This year, both communities struggled bringing in the hundreds of walruses that sustain them each year after bad weather and persistent sea ice kept hunters from getting to the marine mammals. While the state has already issued a disaster declaration for the region, those funds will not be immediately available to residents.