Ketchikan: The Salmon Capital of the World

 
Across the lower forty-eight, there are many big cities that are famous for pieces of their culture and unique traditions. From Mardi Gras in New Orleans to Spring Break in Miami, there are lots of exciting activities to partake in throughout the continental United States. During these big events, cities experience extreme crowding thanks to the visitors that flock to the areas to celebrate. In Ketchikan, Alaska, there is a very different type of crowding that happens each year that many people head to the area to enjoy, and this crowding doesn’t involve wading through hordes of tourists.

A school of young salmon.


The crowding that takes place in Ketchikan each year is a crowding of incredible salmon. For those looking for a once in a lifetime experience, a trip to Ketchikan, Alaska during the annual salmon run is the best vacation opportunity there is. The salmon themselves have an internal clock that brings them in droves to Ketchikan every single year at the same time, giving an incredible show to onlookers. 

From mid-July to mid-September, five different types of salmon work themselves to near exhaustion trying to fight their way up stream at Ketchikan Creek Falls. As these magnificent fish crowd together, swimming and jumping in the same direction, they seem to form a solid wall between the open air and the water with their bodies. This incredible scene cannot be described, it must be seen to be believed. 

The five different types of salmon that flock to the Ketchikan area are Chum Salmon, Sockeye Salmon, King Salmon, Silver Salmon, and Pink Salmon. These different salmon all work toward the same goal of making it upstream to spawn and carry on their legacy. Watching these fish fight and climb to calmer waters is like watching the survival of the fittest in action. 

These salmon face more challenges than just the rough waters ahead. Most people who take to the streams during this time are fisherman looking for their biggest catch yet. Hooking a giant King Salmon or any other type of salmon, for that matter, is a thrilling experience that will also provide an incredibly tasty meal. 

Since the waters are teeming with salmon, nature’s fisherman head to the waters, as well.

View of the boat harbor and marina in Ketchikan, Alaska.

Those hoping to see one of Alaska’s native bears or eagles are much more likely to see them where the fish are thick in the water. These animals expertly pick out the salmon as they jump near the surface of the water, giving onlookers and incredible show.

The salmon capital of the world, Ketchikan, Alaska, is a terrific place for outdoor lovers, fishermen, and those who just want to check Alaska off their bucket list, to travel. For guests hoping to catch a glimpse of the massive amounts of salmon attempting to spawn or those who are looking to make a meal of these salmon, a trip to Ketchikan will be an unforgettable and awe-inspiring journey. Traveling to the Last Frontier has never been as exciting as it is during the annual salmon run.

Ketchikan Fishing Minute 06/15/2017

Welcome back to another Ketchikan Fishing Minute. The 70th annual Ketchikan CHARR King Salmon Derby wrapped up this past Sunday, and Chase Hanis held on through the third weekend to secure the top spot. His 43.7 pound king was caught early on day five, and that fish will net Chase a $10,000 check in addition to two tickets anywhere Alaska Airlines flies.

Other notable names on the ladder include good friend of Clover Pass Resort, J.B. Ruth, who ended up with the third largest fish brought in this year. James Shilts won the Silverking Lodge Special Prize, awarded to the angler that turned in the 32nd fish caught overall – in honor of Silverking Lodge’s 32 years in business. Ric Boyd’s 33.8 pound king finished in fourth place on the ladder, but since Ric is a Permanent License Holder and he caught that fish from a skiff of less than sixteen feet, Ric ended up on top of both of those categories. 

Oscar and I hit the water Saturday, and as has been the case throughout the derby, we pulled a number of shakers up to the boat. Oscar got a fish on the ladder that day when he pulled in a 10.2 pound king. More than nine hundred fish were turned in over the three weekends, nearly 75 fish more than last year.

The king run will start to taper off over the next couple of weeks, but we’re already starting to see some coho come across the dock. As the early silvers and pinks start to show up, we’ll be on the water to bring you all the action on another Ketchikan Fishing Minute.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ketchikan Fishing Minute 06/08/2017

Welcome back to another Ketchikan Fishing Minute. Today we will look back on the first week of June, and the second weekend of the Ketchikan CHARR King Salmon Derby.

For all the great weather we had on the derby’s opening weekend, we got exactly the opposite for week two. Temperatures barely cracked fifty degrees, we had nearly an inch of rain each day, and sustained winds between fifteen and twenty miles an hour. The blustery weather kept many locals off the water last weekend, including me, as I only got out for a few hours on Saturday morning. Once again, we brought a number of shakers up to our Clover Pass Resort yellow boat, but nothing of any size.

While the first weekend of the derby saw about 330 fish brought in over three days, we saw only about half that on the second weekend. One of those fish is now on top of the ladder however, as Chase Hanis brought in a 43.7 lb king on Sunday and eight other fish moved into the top thirty over the weekend as well. With a number of bigger fish showing up on the ladder, it appears as if the bulk of the run is making its way into our waters, and hopefully we will see a few more big fish brought in over the derby’s final two days this weekend.

The forecast looks great, with little rain expected on Saturday and Sunday and temperatures in the 60’s. I will be on the water looking for the big fish, and hopefully we’ll have some better footage next week on another Ketchikan Fishing Minute – brought to you by Alaska Sportfishing Expeditions!