Though we are a fishing lodge, you will also have opportunities to see many of the native creatures on your trips. We are more than happy to stop, let you see them, and get some photos.
Humpback whales are incredibly massive and amazing creatures. Rarely does a day go by that you do not at least get a glimpse of one. They are often mingling about, feeding on bait fish where we are salmon fishing. Often offering excellent photo opportunities. They also tend to put on a pretty good show, slapping their fins or tail, breaching and if you're lucky bubble feeding. These creatures migrate to Alaska every year during the summer from tropical waters to fatten up on the abundant amounts of food, like herring, we have here.
Orcas are the Apex Predator in the waters of Alaska. Most of the pods that frequent our area feed upon Salmon and other fish species. But in years where salmon are running deeper than usual, they have been spotted consuming Sea Lions and Otters. Every day their pods travel many miles in search of food, and it is common to see them a couple times a week or more as they pass through. Pods range in size from five to up to forty individuals.
Though Nearly hunted to extinction at the turn of the 20th century, Sea Otters have made an incredible come back in our area. It is common to pass by large floats of them with twenty or more bunched together in the water. Otters will dive down to depths of nearly 300 feet in search of Mollusks and other crustaceans to feed upon, like Dungeness crab or Octopus. They bring them to the surface, place their meal on their belly and begin eating. If their prey has a shell, they often keep a rock tucked away to break it open.
Also known as Grizzly bears, Brown bears are the the top predator on land in our vicinity. They are often spotted at low tide, on our drive out to the fishing grounds, turning over rocks and digging up shellfish for food before the pink salmon start running up the streams. They are also know to chase down a deer or two. But once the streams fill up with fish, they hardly feed on anything else as they fatten up for winter hibernation. Chichagof Island has the highest grizzly bear population density on earth, with one bear every square mile.
Sitka Blacktail Deer
Sitka Blacktails are the only species of deer in the area around Pelican. They are very small, usually no larger or heavier than a big dog, and are often spotted grazing along the beaches on the ride out to go fishing. We will sometimes spot them swimming across the channels between islands as well. Come midsummer, the bucks will go into the Alpine levels to feed and can be a tough hunt for the locals.
Stellar Sea Lions
Steller Sea Lions are found by the thousands in our area. During the early part of the season the bulls, weighing up to 1200lbs, can be found fighting for their right to be the King of the rock. There are a few spots that we can get up close and personal with them without disturbing them. Occasionally you may lose your salmon or halibut to them, as they have been known to follow boats and wait for an easy meal.