Published: July 12th 2011July 11th 2011
Seal right outside the fish hatchery catching his lunch.
On Sunday, the Johnsons and Mike and Jack left to head over to Palmer and Anchorage while we stayed in Valdez. We walked around town, heading out to the Crooked Creek Salmon Viewing area, but the pink salmon had not arrived yet. That seems to be the story on this trip – we either arrive a week late or a week early. How many times we have heard, “Oh, there were so many bears here just last week.” OR “Last week, there was a family of about 7 otters just playing on our beach right here.” Oh well, there’s still a lot of Alaska to cover. We walked over to the Alaska Marine Highway Terminal to book a ferry ride from Valdez to Whittier on Wed. That evening, we walked down to the docks to watch the fishing charters come in. Now, that’s a lot of halibut (see pictures)! I’m amazed at how expensive a fish (halibut) and chips basket is everywhere around here. We’ve seen prices that range from $14.95 to $26.00. You’d think in a market where fish is plentiful the prices would reflect a savings. I’m going to check at Safeway later.
Monday was a wildlife-viewing day.
Seal with a fish in its mouth
We drove to Allison Point and the Solomon Gulch Fish Hatchery: http://fms.ws/5L8P4/61.0836N/146.30661W,
near the terminus of the Alyeska pipeline. Having the RV with us, we stayed at this popular fishing spot the whole day. They have installed a fish weir to keep the salmon from going further upstream; instead they go back into the hatchery where they were born to spawn and die. Watching these determined critters swim up a fish ladder to a spawning pond is fascinating. Fisherman in this area have to stay 300’ from the weir, but fishing for salmon here is like dropping a line in a trout hatchery in the Lower 48. Everyone was catching! It was fun to watch as the tide went out and the fisherman moved further out onto the spit and just kept catching.
Three seals were swimming/feeding just outside the weir when we first arrived. As the day went on, we sat outside to watch eagles, osprey, otters, seagulls and a brown bear feed on the salmon smorgasbord. We had a great time just talking to people as well. One couple had traveled from North Pole, AK, just to fish. (They are the ones who grilled the salmon right
Pink salmon being herded into the fish weir.
after he caught them in the pictures.)
Later, we splurged on a burger from Old Town Burgers here in Valdez - $14.95 for a cheeseburger, fries and a soft drink. Mind you, it tasted great. (Haven’t seen a Micky D’s since Whitehorse!! Ha Ha)
There are more photos below