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Over The Falls Facts

Rivers, Lakes and Wildfires

Admiring the majestic river at the base of the falls. 

Admiring the majestic river at the base of the falls.  (View larger version)

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  • Taku (Inlet and Glacier) is a Tlingit word meaning "place where geese gather or set down". The word is thought to be derived from the contraction ofT'aawak (Canada geese) and ku (flood tide), combining to "geese brought in on the tide".

  • The term portage, which is derived from the Anglo-French term 'porter' meaning 'to carry', is used to describe the act of carrying boats or goods over land from one body of water to another, often to avoid an obstacle.

  • The act of distilling salt water is accomplished by heating the saltwater into steam, and then collecting the condensation into a new container, leaving the salt from the water in the original container.

  • Rainbow trout, Dolly Varden and Northern Pike fish are all found in Turner Lake.

  • In addition to over 12,000 rivers, there are 3 million lakes in Alaska that are larger than five acres.

  • The largest freshwater lake in Alaska is Lliamna Lake, which covers approximately 1,600 square miles with a depth of up to 984 ft.

  • Admiralty Island is estimated to be home to roughly 1,600 brown bears, which is the largest concentration anywhere in the world, and more brown bears than the rest of the United States combined.

  • In addition to brown bears, Admiralty Island and its waters are also home to sea lions, humpback whales, porpoises, salmon and Sitka deer.

  • Lightning and thunderstorms are not as common in Southeast Alaska as they are in the Alaskan Interior, where areas outside Fairbanks are documented to have the most lightning strikes in the state.

  • Wildfires sparked by lightning strikes are responsible for 97% of the acreage lost by fire in Alaska.