One of the great things about Saltery Lodge is the abundant wildlife just outside the window. This is because the lodge is located right on the beach, so seeing marine mammals such as seals are a daily occurrence. And seeing dolphins and whales are not uncommon. The other reason is because there is a salmon stream on the beach right next to the lodge. Over thousands of years, the stream has created a large “flats” which is acres and acres of beach when the tide is out. This attracts seagulls (in the hundreds), cranes, bald eagles, and other birds which feed off the flats.
The salmon of course attract the bears, and some years it is a daily occurrence to see bears on the beach in the open. Other times, just a walk on the beach will flush previously unseen bears from the tall grass.
Deer are also sighted on the beach, usually in the morning hours.
We primarily have black bears on Revilla Island (This island Saltery Lodge is located on). Because of the salmon stream that is only about 600 ft from the lodge, you will have a great opportunity to view black bears. You can simply take photos from the lodge, or you can walk the beach and get a closer look. It is not unheard of to have 4-6 bears on the flats in front of the lodge, although most of the time, they are hidden in the tall grass. Occasionally they come out to fish in the stream, running up and down going after salmon.
We can also arrange bear watching tours where you can get quite a bit closer to the bears while they feed in the salmon streams.
Marine mammals are abundant in our area. Many you will see directly out the window such as the seals that are here year round. Others you will see while in the boat. Sightings of humpback whiles, killer whales, porpoises, and dolphins are not uncommon.
We have about three to four seals that are resident year round. In the summer, as many as ten seals show up and call Saltery Lodge their home. They are all fishing for salmon that enter and leave our salmon stream. They love to throw their catch into the air, playing with it before they consume it.
The bird that everyone wants to see in Alaska is, of course, the bald eagle. We can virtually guarantee you that every day you’re with us you will see bald eagles. There are more bald eagles in southeast Alaska than in the entire lower-48. When the salmon are in the stream, it is not uncommon to see four to six eagles on the beach.
While in the boat, we will try to feed them for you so you can get close pictures of them swooping down and grabbing herring out of the water.
The other bird that we love to watch is the heron. We have a couple herons that live on the property year round and more that show up in the summer. We have seen as many as five herons on the beach at one time, fishing for perch in the eel grass on our beach.
Seagulls are nature’s recycling system. Something has got to eat those dead salmon floating down the stream. In the summer we have about 100-200 birds on average on the beach. We have seen flocks as large as a thousand floating in the water in front of the lodge.
The other birds that you will see are: ducks, mergansers, sea ducks, humming birds, loons, king fishers, and song birds.
Fish are not only fun to catch, they are fun to watch. Salmon don’t come right up a stream when they arrive from the ocean. They spend a lot of time just milling around. We get in the boat (or you can take our skiff) and go right in front of the lodge and look down and see hundreds of fish stacked up in front of our salmon stream. Less than a mile away, a major salmon stream dumps into the ocean. Thousands of salmon can be seen cruising the shallows before they head into fresh water.
When the salmon are in the bay, they jump all the time. You can just sit on the deck or inside the lodge and count jumping salmon. Bring a calculator though. The numbers get big in a hurry.