Fairbanks Paddlers

Fairbanks Paddlers

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Latest News from Fairbanks Paddlers

Chena River Cleanup 2016 – Summary

Chena Cleanup Crew 2016

Cleanup Crew and the results of their labors, Pioneer Park, 11 May 2016

Thanks to all of you who came out on the evening of May 11 to clean up the Chena River through town. About 20 people came out and together we pulled about 700 pounds of trash out of the river between Graehl Landing and Pioneer Park. This has been duly reported to American Rivers, which has been sponsoring river cleanups throughout the country and keeping track of the results. We are also recognized by the Tanana Valley Watershed Association for our commitment to keeping the banks of the Chena River cleaned up. Thanks again to everyone who came out.

truck and trash

Larry Fogleson’s truck with about half (the weightier half) of the take

Boat with Trash

Jason Fails with a well-loaded boat.

Canoe and Kayak Instructor Certification Courses

Canoe and Kayak Instructor Certification Courses

This June, the Fairbanks Paddlers club is hosting two Instructor Certification Workshops (ICW)  in the Fairbanks area.


Questions? PLEASE CONTACT MARY PAGEL – (907)987-6878 northernbluegrass57@gmail.com

Register for American Canoe Association ACA Instructor Certification Workshops (ICW):

The club’s purposes include encouraging water safety on rivers and lakes through training and instruction, and encouraging boaters to progress in their skill level and helping others to progress.  To further these goals, we have scheduled expert instructors to teach two  American Canoe Association ACA Instructor Certification Workshops (ICW).


Barb Cutter

Barb Cutter of Cutter Aquatics will be the Instructor Trainer. She will be assisted in the Canoe course by Don and Tracie Pendergrast.

Course Descriptions

Essentials of River Canoeing (ERC) read more…

Arctic Refuge Visitor Survey

Going on a trip to the Arctic Refuge this summer? If so, you should participate in the Fish & Wildlife Service survey of Refuge visitors. The poster below tells why it is important for you to make your preferences known.  To participate in the survey, contact the Arctic Refuge at 1-800-362-4546 or email roger_kaye@fws.gov.

2016 recreation users poster W

Upper Nenana River / Reindeer Hills – June 11-12, 2016

Upper Nenana River / Reindeer Hills – June 11-12, 2016

June Thomasson will be leading this year’s Upper Nenana River overnight trip on the “Reindeer Hills” section on June 11-12.  June would welcome a co-trip leader who also knows this section of the river.  Please contact June at (360) 348-0012 or jthomasson_99 at yahoo.com by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, June 8  if you’re interested in joining the trip.   You must be a current club member to participate in the trip.


On the Reindeer Hills section we float the Nenana River between 18 mile Denali Highway and the “Windy Bridge” on the Parks Highway a few miles north of Cantwell. We will put-in on Saturday, June 11, spending the night on the river and taking out late Sunday afternoon. The tentative plan is to meet at 11 am at the Windy Bridge takeout and leave shuttle vehicles there. Participants may want to coordinate driving together and sharing gas costs.


read more…

Just for Fun!


The latest Bubblestreet comic stripThe weekly Bubble Street Cartoon, by Paul Mason



Canoe Lessons Return to Fairbanks

The Fairbanks Paddlers have long wanted to stimulate paddle sports in the Interior. One way to do that is to teach people the skills to make them safe paddlers and to be comfortable on our waters; canoe instruction is now available.


Club members Tracie and Don Pendergrast (business membership) are now certified American Canoe Association canoe instructors and will offer five courses this summer. They are also working with Fairbanks Paddlers to train more certified instructors in the Fairbanks area.

read more…

Epic: Kayak Ultimate Open House – May 30

What happens when you combine two great sports, kayaking and ultimate frisbee?  You get Epic: Kayak Ultimate.


Epic Kayak Ultimate is having an Open House at Tanana Lakes paddle boat launch on Memorial Day, May 30 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.  You can learn to paddle, learn the basics of Epic, play in a casual game, and have a hot dog. All required equipment will be available to use, and the event is free.

Epic Kayak Ultimate is a high-intensity water sport, melding the skill and teamwork of Ultimate with the challenge of paddling. Invented in North Pole, Alaska by a small group of friends, it has grown over the years to expand to three states and hundreds of players. Now, Epic has grown to include competitive League action during the summer months in the Fairbanks area.

The sport is open to paddlers of all abilities.  Epic Leisure games are held Monday and Thursday nights at 7 p.m. Epic Kayak Ultimate League games are Wednesdays at 7 p.m. from June through mid August.

You can bring your own boat and gear, or use theirs.

Learn more on the website EpicKayakUltimate.org, on their Facebook Page, or email epickayakultimate@gmail.com.

Boat Swap at Beaver Sports – May 14

Boat Swap at Beaver Sports – May 14

Find a great deal on used boats or paddling gear, or sell the boats you haven’t paddled for a while!

Fairbanks Paddlers will be working with Beaver Sports to host a Boat Swap on May 14, 2016 under the awning outside the Beaver Sports Boat Shop on 3480 College Road.

  • 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. – Bring your non-motorized boats and paddling gear to sell
  • 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. – Find bargains on “new to you” boats and paddlesports gear
  • 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. – Find out if your gear sold and pick up your unsold items.

15% of sales will be donated to Fairbanks Paddlers. Please price your items accordingly.

If you are a Fairbanks Paddlers member and would like to volunteer to help, please contact John Schauer at (907)460-6290

Other questions? Please contact Fairbanks Paddlers at info@fairbankspaddlers.org

Chena River Cleanup – May 11, 2016

Chena River Cleanup – May 11, 2016

The Paddlers’ annual cleanup of the Chena River through town is scheduled for Wednesday, May 11 this year. This will also be the first of the Wednesday evening float trips for the summer. ( We are still looking for someone to coordinate Wednesday evening floats on the Chena). We will meet at Graehl Landing (just upstream from the Wendell Street bridge) at 6:00 p.m., set shuttle to the Pioneer Park landing at Peger Road, and plan on launching from Graehl promptly at 6:30. Once on the water people travel more or less at their own pace, stopping to pick up trash on the riverbanks. Usually, everybody is out of the water by 9:00 or 10:00.

Cleaning up the Chena River is one of the contributions our club makes to the community of Fairbanks, and is also a commitment we have made to the Adopt-a-Stream program of the Tanana Valley Watershed Association. For this activity we are recognized by two nice signs placed by the TVWA near the river at Graehl and Pioneer Park. Our cleanup is also registered with the American Rivers National River Cleanup campaign.

Trash bags will be provided. Participants should bring mud boots, raincoat, gloves, warm clothes, extra clothes, mosquito repellent, drinking water and something to snack on as well as some sort of craft to paddle. Don’t forget your life-jacket!

We will attempt to separate out clean aluminum in separate bags for recycling. We need to take the trash directly to the dump (as opposed to sticking it in dumpsters) so that the Borough can keep track of the volunteer cleanup effort and so that we can report our haul to American Rivers. My truck will be available for stuffing full of trash at the take-out.

For more information contact Alan Batten at alanbatten@acsalaska.net, or at 488-3205.

Annual Upper Chena Paddle and Potluck – May 7

Annual Upper Chena Paddle and Potluck – May 7

The 2016 Annual Paddle and Potluck trip on the upper Chena River will be Saturday, May 7.


We will launch at the first bridge (approximately Mile 37 Chena Hot Springs Road) and take out at the mile 31.4 river access (the Nugget Creek winter trailhead).  Meet at the First Bridge at 10 a.m.  (Look for the big gravel bar on river right downstream from the bridge, accessed by signed dirt road on the right just before the bridge, then left at the fork out to the gravel bar).  It takes about an hour to get to the first bridge from downtown Fairbanks. We’ll unload gear, run a couple vehicles down to the take out, and launch. Plan to have lunch on the river and be at the take-out by late afternoon.


Come prepared to share a river travel tip, paddling or river camping skill, recipe, or a favorite anecdote with the group.  After lunch, we will challenge paddlers to show or tell about a favorite piece of gear, a special dish, camp craft, safety skill,  or even just a short story or lesson learned from past river trips.


This section of river is suitable for canoes, kayaks, packrafts, inflatable kayaks, or small rafts. We will pack lunch dishes, a small propane grill, collapsible table and minimum impact picnic gear  into the boats and have our potluck on a gravel bar along the river.  Be creative.  Kayakers and pack rafters may wish to coordinate with canoeists to help carry bulkier “luxury” items like camp chairs or coolers.  The trip will occur rain or shine.


To come on this trip, you will need to be a current FP member ( Join or Renew online, or bring cash or check to the put-in.  We’ll also have membership applications/renewals at the put-in), wear a PFD, carry spare clothes and rain gear, and be at least an advanced beginner paddler with experience in swift water and the ability to confidently maneuver a boat to avoid sweepers and strainers. In recent years a there have been channels obstructed by logs just upstream of the takeout in the vicinity of the Chena River Public Use Cabin. The Upper Chena is Class I.  Woody debris obstructing the river channel constitutes the main challenges. Skills to recognize hazards, maneuver in swift current, and avoid sweepers or logjams are essential for a safe trip.

Please let trip leader John Schauer know if you plan to attend by noon on Friday, May 6.  (907)457-3962 or johnjschauer (AT) gmail (DOT) com.  If you leave a message, please state how many are coming with you and the number and type of craft that you plan to paddle.

Hope to see you on the river!

Join Fairbanks Paddlers

Memberships run from
April 1 through March 31

$10 Individual
$15 Household
$150 Business
$100 Lifetime

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Upcoming Events

Nothing from July 25, 2016 to September 24, 2016.


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