Sunday, April 24, 2016

Sand Hill Cranes

One of the most impressive birds found on the Kenai River are the sand hill cranes.  I'm impatiently waiting for these majestic, migratory birds to show up on the peninsula.  It should be just a matter of days before the first ones are spotted.   
Sand hill cranes are a big bird and can have a wingspan over six feet. They are the largest game bird in Alaska. 

There are two populations of sand hill cranes in Alaska.  The Mid-Continent population is found in the interior of Alaska.  By far the most popular viewing area is Craemer's field in Fairbanks.  The Pacific Flyway population is found in the coastal regions of Alaska (mainly Upper Cook Inlet and Bristol Bay).The majority of the Pacific Flyway cranes winter in California while the Mid Continent cranes migrate to southwest United States and Mexico.  
Cranes mate for life and can live to be 20 years old.  They are omnivores, and are constantly on the hunt for food.
Where hunting is allowed, I've been told that they are delicious bird to eat. "Flying filet mignon" or "roast beef on a stick." are just a couple of phrases I've heard to describe their taste.

I can't wait to hear their unique, if not haunting, cackle and to see their distinctive profile as they fly low over the river flats.  It gets me excited because it not only signals that it's spring, but it also signals the start of the salmon run....

Beaver Creek Cabins & Guide Service

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Left Handed Halibut

Since my last post was about halibut I figure I should stay on topic. Back in October, I mentioned in a post about white king salmon that I would write about "left handed" halibut.  Well, here ya go.

It's true.  There are right handed and left handed halibut.  By far the majority of all halibut are right handed while the lefty's are more rare.  Not exactly one in a million, but biologist claim that 1 in 20,000 are left handed.

How do you tell the difference?  The eyes and dark skin are on the left side of the fish.  In the photo above the left handed halibut is on the right and the "normal" halibut is on the left.  For me, the best way to tell them apart is when halibut are hung on a fish rack.  All good charters will hang halibut with the white side facing out and the head up.  The stomach on a "normal" halibut will be on the left side (it will look like the fish swallowed a baseball or softball).   The stomach on a left handed halibut will be on the right side.  

One last tidbit about halibut that might win you a bar bet.  Did you know that they are born with their eyes on opposite sides of their head and as they grow one eye migrates over to the other side? You're welcome in advance.....

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Charter Halibut Regulation Changes 2016

I've been getting quite a few calls asking about the halibut regulations in Seward, Anchor Point/Ninilchik, and Homer.  I figure it was time I posted the changes.  The aforementioned halibut ports are on the right side of the table above, Area 3A, SouthCentral, AK. 

Keep in mind, these regulatory changes are for charter boats only. There are no changes for private boats. What's different from 2015 is this: yearly halibut limit decreases from 5 fish to 4 fish,  and the day that you are not allowed to halibut fish from a charter boat switched from Thursday to Wednesday. 

Hope this information helps when planning your trip to Alaska.

Beaver Creek Cabins & Guide Service

Friday, April 1, 2016


The 1st Annual Skumpy Tournament will be held on the Kenai River from August 13th through September 3rd. The event is part water skiing, and part humpy fishing, hence the name.  The event is based on the Peoria Carp Hunters as seen in the video above.

Director of the tournament, Lirpa Sloof, said "this tournament will add some excitement to the days on the river when the silvers just don't want to bite.  We won't be using tiny nets like they do down south.  We're using big old fashioned Alaska dip nets just like we do in July."

Categories for the tournament include:

  • biggest Wilbur (humpy)
  • most Wilburs (humpy)
  • most pounds of Wilburs (humpy) TEAM EVENT
  • Humpysaurus Rex (biggest male humpy)
  • least coordinated skier
  • skinniest legs
Registration is $25 per individual or $75 for a team of 4.  If you can spell Tennessee correctly there will be an additional 5% discount.

Hope to see y'all there!