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I have watches several shows on Alaska filmed on rivers. All (or most) of the water looks like milk, or is milk colored. WHY??? I suspect it has to do with snow melt. I know a lot of you have had the pleasure of a visit and can tell me. Trapper's are a well informed lot and I respect that. Thanks Jim
 

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The cloudy rivers are fed by glacier melt; color is from silt from the glaciers. Some rivers - Kenai in particular- has a greenish/blue tint, with about 12" of visibility. The red salmon run right next to shore, in 3' of water, and from above you can't see a fish. Great fishing, but not like it was even 10 years ago.
 

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Jim's right...and that's why we left. Moved out in '12. They close quite a few of the rivers during the summer just to get enough spawners. The rivers that are open, you're there with 1,000 of your closest friends. The days you can get away and get dropped on a back country river (like Clear Creek) are heaven....three of us caught 55 kings over 50lbs each in about 9 hours of fishing - all catch and release - one day. I got a brown bear in my tent that night for my trouble.

Hadn't drawn a hunting tag since 2005 either - that's 7 years of applying for 3 moose, 3 sheep, 3 caribou, 3 goat and 3 brown bear tags every year. Used to be you could bow hunt moose and have a fair chance at a tag - then everyone figured it out and now there's a thousand bowhunters in Anchorage all looking for the same 40 tags.
 

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Jim - I have been fortunate enough to have gone up to Alaska a couple times, and my observations are the same. Being from MS I though I had seen "muddy waters". The rivers I saw there were gray, bluish-gray and as you said looked like milk. It is from the glacial till being released from the glaciers. Any sand size particles release sink immediately to the bottom in front of the glacier and are continued to be crushed. The surface of the river bottoms and the banks are made up of particles from silt size (0.05 mm down to 2 microns), and clay which is the particles less than 2 microns in size. The flowing water 's energy determines it's the sediment load it can carry. And, in their case the sediment load is composed of the grayish colored silt and clay fraction, sometimes called rock flour because the glaciers movement literally grinds the rocks into flour.
 
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