As mid-May approaches the overall activity levels around Kodiak intensify. Tide rips concentrate plankton blooms, attracting baitfish and a few early King salmon. On nice days people break the cabin fever blues and get out looking for that first fresh fish of spring. The whales begin to show and returning seabirds begin to mass in the vicinity of their rookeries.
By June sockeye salmon return to their natal rivers, halibut move in from deeper water and saltwater action for king salmon is getting serious. Snow still blankets the alpine and vegetation has not yet grown up. In the more remote areas we usually see brown bears browsing along the mountain slopes, and on the west side of Afognak Island it is not uncommon to see the herds of Elk. The seabird rookeries are full of life as the returning Puffins, Murres, and Cormorants are all actively engaged in nest building and courtship rituals.
As daylight increases so do the plankton blooms in the tide rips. The Humpbacks show up and the summer feeding frenzy has once again begun.
A common question by so many, What about “Orca” the killer whales. They are nomads far more so than any of the great whales, Fin, Humpback, Sei which are all common to Kodiak Island waters. There are years when we see the killer whales often and other years when we rarely encounter them.