Still Searching for Kings

After leaving Labouchere, we make a quick pit stop in Wrangell to take care of some business, get internet, and wait out a pesky low pressure weather system lurking in the Gulf of Alaska.  We hike Mt. Dewy to get a great view of the Marina and Zimovia Strait.  

While in Wrangell  we learn that there is a special king salmon opening in Anita Bay.  There is a State of Alaska managed hatchery there that releases the baby kings each year.  We have never been there so we make that our next destination.

Located on Etolin Island, Anita Bay is about six miles long with a large anchorage at its head.  Arriving at the entrance, we find quite a few commercial guys working the water.  We must weave between at least a dozen  gill netters who have their nets strung several hundred feet across the channel.   Red  or orange buoys mark each end of their nets but the  sun makes it difficult to pick out their position.  They leave their nets out for an hour or more before reeling them in on a large drum located on their stern deck.  There must be 20 gill netters in the bay.  It is a wonder any fish can get past this gauntlet of netting.  

It is a beautiful anchorage with snow  capped mountains surrounding us.  Luckily we have really good weather as we suspect this anchorage could get very uncomfortable with strong winds as the anchorage is so large and winds would funnel down the mountain side.  Our  traps are soon out as this looks to be a good area for crabbing.

We spend a few hours trolling in the dinghy around the release pins and several miles of shoreline. After four hours our only fish onboard are two rock fish.  On our last fishing pass we finally get a strike.  We have several minutes of excitement as we fight the king only to feel our line suddenly go slack. It turns out our leader broke.  We theorize that the the rock fish weakened the monofilament.  We should have inspected it closer.  That was a really costly mistake.  We won’t do that again!  We do however  have a lot more success with our crab traps.  Inside them we find six huge meaty hard shell crabs.  Crab for dinner again tonight!

While pulling the crab traps, we have have a nice chat with Keith a gill netter on the boat Lincoln Rock.  He has caught twenty king salmon in his nets over the past couple days.  We are able to buy a freshly caught six pound king from him for $40.  Fresh King Salmon is now on tonight’s dinner menu instead of crab.

Our last stop before heading back to Petersburg, is Roosevelt Harbor on the eastern sided the  small island  Zarembo. There are lots of logs in the water today that the recent rains have washed down from the  Stikine River.  The milky glacier water makes spotting these difficult.

We anchor in the small cove just off the state float dock.   

  There are no permanent residents on this island.  Ashore we find a parking lot full of cars and trucks most of which have been abandoned. There is also a forrest service cabin just up the hill that is available for nightly rentals.  Back in the late 1800’s, Zoembro Island mineral springs water was bottled by a company in Seattle.   Back in the harbor we collect another six crabs for the freezer.  Tomorrow we will head back thru Wrangell Narrows to Petersburg. Thanks for following along.

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