Three facilities are available in the Wood River system. The facility on Lake Aleknagik is within the village of Aleknagik (pop. ~250) and serves as a base of operations for research on Lake Aleknagik (the lowermost of the lakes) and as a staging ground for research in the upper lakes. Visitors can fly to Dillingham (the largest fishing port in the region, served by regularly scheduled jet flights from Anchorage) and drive the 30 km to our camp.
A two-story cabin, a bunkhouse, and a Pan Abode cabin provide housing quarters for up to 25 people. In 2009 we completed a large new industrial cooking facility. A small lab is available to scientists, as well as a small classroom. Wireless, but limited internet, is available at the Aleknagik field station, as well as a land line telephone and fax machine. Electricity is provided by conventional hook-up to the local community. This facility also has running water, flush toilets, a washer–dryer, and other amenities. A Chevrolet Suburban and Dodge pick-up truck are available for transportation to and from Dillingham.
Our camp on Lake Nerka is accessible by float plane or, more typically, by boat from Aleknagik. The Lake Nerka facility is capable of comfortably supporting 8-12 people. It has two bunkhouses, a main cabin with living and cooking/dining space, a small laboratory, tool shop, and storage building. Electrical power is supplied by solar power and a 12-kw diesel generator, heat is by propane, and communication is provided by radio-telephone. Limited satellite internet is available at the Nerka field station. Fuel, food, and other supplies are obtained at the Aleknagik research station.
A four-person cabin is maintained at Lake Kulik (the upper-most of the main lakes) and is accessible by float plane or boat during moderate to high water levels.
Boats available for research in the Wood River Lakes include two very sturdy welded aluminum vessels: a 24′ flat-bottom Munson powered by twin 70-hp outboard motors and a 19′ Workskif powered by a 90-hp motor. We also have several 16–18′ skiffs with 40-60-hp motors. Each camp has a maintenance shop, fully equipped for carpentry, plumbing, electrical projects and outboard motor and truck repairs.
We have two facilities on Iliamna Lake: one at Iliamna Village (pop. ~500) near the shore of the lake and the other on Porcupine Island at the eastern end of the lake. The Iliamna village facility is used as a point of arrival/departure (there are several scheduled jet flights between Anchorage each day), for research on the Newhalen River and the west end of Iliamna Lake, and as a staging ground for studies at Lake Clark or travel to Porcupine Island.
Up to 6 scientists can be supported comfortably at the Iliamna Village facility, which is connected to the community power utility and utilizes well water for drinking and cooking, and is connected to a standard residential septic system. These facilities include a bunkhouse, a main house with bathroom and cooking facilities, and a third very large storage building (originally built to house airplanes) where all boats and vehicles are stored during the winter. The facility has a land-line telephone and GCI cellular service. Vehicles available at the Iliamna village include a Chevrolet pick-up and a GMC suburban.
Most of our Iliamna Lake research has been conducted from the Porcupine Island facility, located in the most protected region at the east end of Iliamna Lake, near many major sockeye salmon spawning grounds.
This facility is powered by a diesel generator and can comfortably support up to 15 scientists in four cedar buildings. The main cabin has cooking, dining, and showering facilities, and two rooms with sleeping capacity of 3-4. A second building doubles as a laboratory space and has sleeping and work accommodations for 1-2 through a connecting door, with separate entrance and exit. The classroom is equipped with whiteboard, projector, and desk seating for at least ten, along with sink and shower facilities and sleeping accommodations for 8 persons. A well-equipped shop for fabrication of apparatus and repairs, is available in a separate building. A separate cabin with accommodations for 3 is located at the west end of camp. Communication is available through a radio phone, limited satellite internet, and intermittent GCI cellular service from the tower located in the nearby community of Pedro Bay.
The Porcupine Island camp is accessed directly by boat or float plane from Iliamna Village or by wheel plane and boat via the village of Pedro Bay.
Boats available at the Iliamna Lake system include a 24’ aluminum Workskiff with a closed cabin, a 23’ open deck aluminum seine skiff, and three 18’ Lunds (one equipped with a jet motor).
Our facility located at the outlet of Chignik Lake is accessed by commercial or charter flight into the Village of Chignik Lake, and is capable of comfortably supporting 4-6 people. There is a two room cabin with living, cooking, and dining space, and a workshop that doubles as a small laboratory. Limited satellite internet is available, and the village has GCI cellular coverage. Electricity is supplied by solar power and a 12-kw diesel generator, heat is by propane. There is a propane-powered washer and dryer, as well as a shower. This is our most remote location and we rely heavily on the village for support.
Boats available for research in the Chignik system include a 24’ Workskiff powered by a 110hp motor and four 16’-18’ Lund and flat-bottom boats with 40-60hp motors, both prop and jet.