Favorite thing: If you make it to Kodiak and have an interest in fishing for Salmon I'll be more than happy to take you along on one of our fishing adventures! But be prepared to stay until it gets dark!! hahaha And if you are interested in fishing be prepared to have aching muscles the next day from the the battles with these powerful fish!
Favorite thing: Here is an example of a Fresh Silver Salmon. It is on the smaller end as far as averages go for Silvers. It is about 8-9 Lbs. But it makes for a great fight on a fly rod. Silvers can be quite acrobatic. Jumping out of the water trying to throw your fly right back at you or snap the line! I've had them to that many times!!
Favorite thing: A "Jack" Salmon occurs in all species of Salmon. A "Jack" is a salmon that returns to the river out of cycle...for example if the salmon was supposed to stay in the sea for 3 years it returned after only one year in the feeding grounds. It didn't grow to be a big mature Salmon. From what I've heard they are unable to spawn. But from I've read recently that isn't true. They are able to spawn. I'm not sure if the biologists fully understand the life of a "Jack" but for us fisherman we are allowed to keep 10 Jacks per day when we are only allowed to keep 2 full size salmon per day. A "Jack" is determined by length. Anything 18 inches and less is considered a "Jack". They do make tasty Pan size dinners!
This is a Silver Salmon that has it's fall spawning colors. My son caught this one in October. He released back to the river as the flesh will have bleached out and is quite flavorless! At this time of year the females are reabsorbing their scales for additional calcium for the maturing eggs and their flesh gets soft, mushy and flavorless.I tried it once a long time ago. He caught it on a #5 Mepps Spinner.
transformation to spawning mode by changing colors,
Favorite thing: In late August and through September you might think that there was a nuclear blast killing thousands of salmon as the Pink Salmon spawn in the river and die you will find the bodies all over the place. At low tide at the mouth you'll see tons of them until the many tides finally take them out to sea!!
Favorite thing: Here is an example of a Spawned out Red Salmon. It has already spawned and it's skin has already changed from the silvery beauty it once was to the Bright Red spawning colors to the white flaky skin and is almost dead....at this stage the salmon is basically dead as the skin is actually falling from its body.
Favorite thing: If you enlarge this photo it will give you some idea of how large the schools of Pink Salmon can be! Even without enlarging it you can see all the grey "rocks" in the water...well those aren't rocks. They are Pink salmon.
Here you can see Hadji holding a Pink Salmon. They are the most numerous of salmon. A pink is usually about 18-24 inches long reaching an average weight of 3-5 pounds. Although they can get a little bigger. They range in color from steel-blue to blue-green and silver with large black dots and silver sides characterize the coloring. Spawning takes place from mid-July to late October. The female prepares the nest or redd where she lays and average of 1500-1900 orange-red colored eggs. Of this large amount of eggs that are hatched very few actually survive to become fry as they are eaten by other salmon and trout in the rivers and birds too. The female guards her nest as long as she can but the spawning adults die in a few days or weeks. Hatching occurs from late December to late February. The average lifespan of a pink salmon is two years; generally they return to the river they were hatched in to spawn. Which is really amazing to me as they go several thousand miles out into the open ocean for these two years and they are able to find the river or stream that they were born in!!
Fondest memory: We took this photo at home as I had forgotten my camera on this day......I know that is a VT Sin!!! Don't leave home without my camera is my usual Mantra!!
Favorite thing: The Pink Salmon is also know as the Humpy. You can see in the photo why they have earned that nickname. After they have been in the fresh water the Males turn from their normal salmon shape into this. Their teeth also grow and the jaw gets mishapen so that they cant' even close their mouths. I think this makes them more attractive so they can easily find a female for mating!! Shortly after this the spawning takes place then they die. It is a slow death for them. They will swim around in a half dead state for several days. The Seagulls eat the eyes. I've seen the seagulls eat the eyes out of the half dead Salmon and watched them swim around for several more hours without eyes. Fox, Eagles and other small animals will feed on the leftovers. Here on the Buskin we always get several huge rainstorms in the mid to late September which will help wash the large amount of dead pink salmon carcuses down the river and out the sea. Without this there would be an incredible stinky smell in every bend of the river as the fish can be stacked a couple of feet thick in areas!!
Favorite thing: Barometer Mountain isn't actually located within the boundries of the Buskin River State Recreation Site but it sure looms over head and you can see it from just about any spot within the park unless you are in the toilet! It is about 2500 feet and you ascend this in less than a mile so it makes for an average of about a 40% Grade. There are some spots at the top that will make you nervous if you don't feel comfortable hanging near the edge with 400-500 feet to fall if you stub your toe!! It takes 1 -3 hours depending on your ability. The trail starts just past the airport on the right hand side....there is a small sign to watch for. In the beginning you will be hiking through VERY dense vegetation. You will want to make plenty of noise so you don't accidentally stumble upon any Bears that may be lurking in the area. This is the most popular mountain hike in Kodiak.
Favorite thing: Here you can see Hadji & Jamela and if you look at the guy in the green shirt that is our very own fellow VT'er Nick (Kaloz). So if any of you Vt'ers show up in Kodiak I'll be happy to take you on a fishing excursion!!
Favorite thing: This is what the tasty flesh of Red Salmon looks like. These are from 2 Reds that I caught this past June. They are long gone....I think they lasted us for 3 meals.
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