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View Full Version : Stetson Creek Diversion - Kenai Peninsula

12-24-2012, 01:08 PM
While researching dams in Alaska, I came across this project of a diversion of Stetson Creek into Cooper Lake. This would obviously affect potential mining activity on mining claims on both Stetson and Cooper Creek. It looks like any comment period has passed and its just a matter of getting the money and building it. Nowhere in the project did it mention the impacts on mining activity on the creeks.


"When Chugach received a new operating license in 2007 for its Cooper Lake hydroelectric project, it contained a condition requiring
Chugach to divert the cold water of Stetson Creek into Cooper Lake, then release water from the reservoir into Cooper Creek. Resource
managers wanted this condition to try to improve the habitat for certain species of fish by providing warmer water in the lower reaches of
Cooper Creek near where it joins the Kenai River. At the time, it was estimated to be a $12 million project. As the engineering has
moved forward and construction details finalized, the estimate has become more refined. It is now estimated that the final cost of this
project could total $24 million. Chugach agreed to a $12 million project and is seeking assistance with the balance over and above that
amount. The project entails the construction of a small concrete diversion dam on Stetson Creek, 11,910 feet of 36" pipeline to move the
creek waters to Cooper Lake, and an outlet works which includes a 30" pipeline from the lake buried 25' deep in the existing hydro project

Steve Herschbach
12-24-2012, 02:55 PM
Amazing what it costs to build a little dam and dig a ditch these days.

As a past owner of and possibly one of the most active dredgers on Stetson Creek I can tell you that lowering the average water flow on Stetson Creek would be a great boon to dredging there. High water was my number one impediment.

Got the Bug
12-24-2012, 03:18 PM
Can't wait to dig there this season. Should be seeing bedrock crack's that haven't been seen or never been seen in awhile or never. And depending on where they put the road from the Cooper Lake dam to the new sight, they might be breaking up some overburden that also might show some good bedrock crack's. Oh I am dreaming BIG !!

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to you all !!!!!

Got the Bug
12-31-2012, 01:09 PM
Just a reminder folk's, Stetson Creek from above where the dam is being built all the way dwn. to Cooper Creek is claimed. I believe there are 8 or 10 active claim's from above the site of new dam dwn. to Cooper Creek, and from where Stetson Creek enter's Cooper Creek there are 3 active claim's. that run dwn. stream on Cooper Creek. So do a little research, wouldn't want anybody getting in any trouble.

Now on a different note, Happy New Year to you all, may your pans be full of gold !!

Steve Herschbach
12-31-2012, 01:28 PM
My partner and I staked all that ground back around 1980 and it has all been claimed ever since.

All the years I was back in there I never had a problem with people claim jumping. Too hard to get to, just the hike down into the gorge is enough to deter most people. And people who do not know what they are doing can't find much gold there anyway. I did well though - good luck to you!

12-31-2012, 05:04 PM
My intent certainly wasn't to bring attention to the area there, but to discuss the impact the project would have on mining. Its good to hear that it just might be a positive thing to have happen. As stated, the creeks are claimed, and are in the grip of the CNF which is a hurdle to deal with in itself. Good luck next summer down there.

Got the Bug
01-02-2013, 06:49 AM
Steve did U ever get to hike around up in that area with Spike when he was alive ??

Steve Herschbach
01-02-2013, 12:37 PM
Spike? Nope, not ringing a bell.

Vance in AK
01-02-2013, 01:16 PM
Steve, I still remember when I bought my 1st sluice from you about 21 yrs ago. You had a photo album in the mining department at the store & it had pictures of your dredges sitting in Stetson with about the 1st 4 riffles shining bright as I recall! Definetly contributed to my case of the "fever".