Fall is my favorite time to bicycle commute through Anchorage. I like to watch the birch trees turn from their summer shades of green, to the yellow of autumn, and ultimately to their final resting place on the bike path where they crunch under my tires.
I also like to see our salmon change as they slowly dawn their spawning colors while working their way up our fresh water urban streams. It’s a unique Alaska experience to be able to set out on my bike after work, with a fishing rod strapped to my back, and come home an hour later with a fresh Coho for dinner.
With the rapid urbanization of Anchorage in the past few decades, our urban salmon runs in Anchorage are a fraction what they once were. Actually, it’s amazing salmon still return to our urban waterways at all. Urban salmon battle litter, culverts and fish passage issues, loss of stream-side habitat and alterations of natural river contours. But there’s another culprit: toxic copper dust from the brake pads on our cars and trucks.