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ALASKA'S INSIDE PASSAGE

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Images and Excerpts from Alaska's Inside Passage

Commercial Fishing

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The terms troller and trawler are often confused. Trollers fish with lures or bait for salmon. Trawlers drag large, sock-shaped nets through the water, for cod and rockfish. 

Sport Fishing

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Alaska Travel: One of the traditional draws for visitors to Alaska is sport fishing for salmon and halibut. Southeast Alaska provides outstanding sport fishing opportunities. Fish are caught in both salt and fresh water. 


Marine Life

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Each species of salmon has a distinctive

pattern and form to its jump, which commercial salmon fisherman recognize. Chums have the most distinctive jump. They jump low, on their side and in a circle, and usually multiple times. Pinks jump erratically,

Commercial Fishing

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The Red Sea Cucumber, which looks like a giant worm, is marketed primarily in China, where it is called trepang. Here the skin is boiled and used as a soup base, with the spaghetti-looking innards being added. Two bands of muscles against the skin are filleted from the skin for stir fry. They are delicious. Fishermen receive about $4.00 per pound. 

Sport Fishing

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In Southeast Alaska, the Yellow Eye is the most sought after rockfish by sport fishermen. Its dazzling color and potentially large size have made it a premier sportfish. 

Marine Life

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Orcas are members of the porpoise family. Males can be up to 30 feet, with females to twenty. The male dorsal fin can be up to 6 feet, and 3 feet in females. They form close family units called pods.

Native History

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Kadjisdu.axte was a man of extraordinary skill, and was one of the greatest Tlingit carvers ever. Because of his legendary skill, the most powerful chief among the Chilkats, Xetsuwu, asked Kadjisdu.axch’ to help create his clan house at Klukwan on the Chilkat River. Kadjisdu.axch’ carved the house posts. What resulted was a masterpiece. 

Native Art

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When commercial fishing, Jackson became ill, and while convalescing he began to carve miniature totem poles. His interest in art piqued, he enrolled in the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico and then settled in Ketchikan.

Native Culture

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In 1922 a Wrangell Tlingit, Tillie Paul of the Teehiton clan, was involved in an event that was to have a major impact in the Native civil rights movement.... Tillie was arrested in Wrangell along with Charlie Jones of the Chief Shakes lineage, for aiding and abetting illegal voting....

Early Exploration and Trade

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 A launch explored north up to Bell Island while the Chatham went around Camano Point to examine Clarence Strait. While anchored in Port Stewart, Vancouver engaged in a considerable amount of visiting and trading with the Natives. The great chief Ononnistoy paddled from Wrangell and joined four other area Tlingit chiefs for an arranged meeting.  

Lodges

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Lodges are common destinations for sport fishermen. These facilities vary from high end to bare bones. Some road-based facilities offer skiff rentals and a place to park your camper.  High end lodges usually involve a bush plane flight, deluxe accommodations, and fully guided fishing in covered and heated boats. 

Bush Planes

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The de Havilland DH-2 Beaver vies with the Piper PA-18 as the quintessential Alaska bush plane. It is a much larger plane than the PA-18, but also has amazing performance. Its high lift wing and high torque radial engine gives it STOL (short takeoff and landing) performance, making it a workhorse. It is popular in Alaska for its ability to get large payloads out of small places. It can get more than half a ton into tight places on land, water, and snow. 

Wildlife

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 The Alexander Archipelago Wolf is a subspecies of the gray or timber wolf and is found only in Southeast Alaska, except for Admiralty, Baranof, and Chichagof islands. It is an adaptable creature, living in a variety of habitats, but most at home in old growth forests. 

Birds

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The Common Loon breeds on lakes in coniferous forests. It is territorial and usually found as solitary pairs on lakes. Many a camper has enjoyed its mournful cry on a secluded lake. Seen in Southeast Alaska as a migrant.

Geology

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The earth has experienced a series of ice ages in the last 12.5 million years. The last ice age to affect Southeast Alaska ended about 17,000 years ago. At the height of this period, the thickness of the ice was about 3,000 feet at the coast, with the ice extending out into the ocean up to 200 miles.

Wildlife

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The Brown Bear is a large-bodied animal weighing over 1,000 pounds. On the coast, a salmon-rich diet creates a larger animal than does the available food inland. Interior Brown Bear are also considered Grizzlies, but they are smaller, with a more muscular hump and longer claws for digging out small mammals such as marmots, roots, and insects.

Marine Life

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 Marine snails without shells are called nudibranchs. The Opalescent Nudibranch is about 2 inches long, and because of its colorful parts and translucent body, it has an iridescent appearance. It feeds primarily on hydroids (small coral-like animals), anemones, and members of its own species.  

Geology

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There are many classic glacial features graphically visible in the fjords of Southeast Alaska. A fjord is a glacially carved valley into which the sea has entered. Fjord is the Scandinavian spelling. The U.S. government uses an Americanized version, fiord.

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Alaska's Inside Passage is available as an eBook with 500 color images on Amazon.