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Thread: Harbor Seal near O'Brien Creek

  1. #1
    Member Jeff Shannon's Avatar
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    Default Harbor Seal near O'Brien Creek

    So there I was cruising down the Copper with some friends a couple of weeks ago to do a little dipping. The guy standing next to me was a first timer so naturally he was asking a few questions. As we were cruising near O'Brien Creek he turns to me and says, "is that an otter or a seal?" Without even looking I said, "it's a river otter, there aren't any seals here." You can imagine my surprise though when I turned and actually looked and there clear as day was a big, gray, harbor seal swimming upstream. I had to do a double-take and there was absolutely no question it was a seal. So does this sound pretty out of the ordinary or what? I've been to Chitina a lot of times and I've seen plenty of otters, but never any seals. I know it's not uncommon for them to swim a few miles up major rivers, but this one was on a mission. That's some serious swimming to go all the way up the current of that canyon.

    ...and no I wasn't smoking anything at the time. I was sober as a priest.


    Jeff

  2. #2

    Default Seals

    See a couple every year quite aways up Kenai.

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    Wink

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Shannon View Post
    I was sober as a priest.
    So, I guess you're not RC...
    Jim Creek - Home of the burning car hook cast!

  4. #4
    Member Jeff Shannon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by akfangler View Post
    So, I guess you're not RC...
    RC...Roman Catholic??? No, it's just a figure of speach. I was sober as a devout Muslim, or Mormon.

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    Member Mkay's Avatar
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    Default Seal

    We saw one at Haley Creek Wednesday.

  6. #6
    Mark
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    I've heard a report (with photo) of a salmon shark in Kenai Lake from a source I consider valid.

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    Member Jeff Shannon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark View Post
    I've heard a report (with photo) of a salmon shark in Kenai Lake from a source I consider valid.
    I'd like to see that. Guess I won't be swimming there anytime soon (like I would anyway).

    A buddy of mine saw a muskox on an island in the Yukon River near Ruby a few years back. He thought it was a grizzly so he got ahead of it to try an ambush. He said he about crapped himself when that muskox strolled out in front of him.

    The polar bear in Ft. Yukon this winter is proof of what animals are capable of. I just thought that seal was a long way out of his element.


    Jeff

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark View Post
    I've heard a report (with photo) of a salmon shark in Kenai Lake from a source I consider valid.
    GOTTA see that to believe it. We would all love to see a picture of that.
    Hike faster. I hear banjo music.

  9. #9
    Member TR's Avatar
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    Default

    That is amazing. Must be over a hundred river miles from the mouth of the Copper. I hope the polar bears don't go to Chitina looking for seals.

  10. #10
    Member fshgde's Avatar
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    Default seals

    one time in september went to try and dip silvers and saw 7 or 8
    seals while dipping, my buddies thought I had been drinking too much when I announced that I saw a seal till one popped up about 30 feet in front of them.

  11. #11
    Mark
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    Quote Originally Posted by wildog View Post
    Originally Posted by Mark
    I've heard a report (with photo) of a salmon shark in Kenai Lake from a source I consider valid.
    GOTTA see that to believe it. We would all love to see a picture of that.
    My father-in-law took the photo. All you can see is the dorsal and upper tail fin in water that is the same color as Kenai Lake. He swore it was Kenai Lake. I don't know where the photo is now (he's deceased), but if I ever find it, I'll scan and post it.

    I know bull sharks will go up freshwater rivers for many, many miles, but I'd never heard of such of salmon sharks.

    I've seen belugas about three miles up Twentymile River.

  12. #12
    Member Jeff Shannon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark View Post

    I know bull sharks will go up freshwater rivers for many, many miles, but I'd never heard of such of salmon sharks.
    I've heard that too. I've read accounts of bull sharks going considerable distances up the Mississippi and into tributaries in the midwest.

    I wonder how on earth these seals can catch salmon in the Copper. A salmon shark in Kenai Lake would actually be able to see, but I'd be curious to know the strategy the seals use. Do they just swim through the edies with their mouths open?

  13. #13
    Mark
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Shannon View Post
    .......I wonder how on earth these seals can catch salmon in the Copper.......
    Good question. I wonder, too.

    I saw an otter in the Copper River swimming around right in Wood Canyon.

    How do they catch fish in that mud?

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