Kashvik Bay, Cape Kubugakli

Kashvik Bay, Cape Kubugakli

by | Jan 20, 2021

Cape Kubugakli is a prominent headland on Shelikof Strait that forms the southwest coast of Kashvik Bay and marks the southern coastal boundary of Katmai National Park and Preserve, about 98 miles (158 km) west-northwest of Kodiak and 75 miles (121 km) southeast of King Salmon, Alaska. The Aleut or Unangan name was published in 1835 by Friedrich Benjamin von Lütke of the Imperial Russian Navy. Kashvik Bay is a 3.3 miles (5.3 km) wide embayment on the east coast of the Alaska Peninsula and is south and adjacent to Katmai Bay. The name was published in 1852 by Mikhail Tebenkov.

In 1915, Fred and Jack Mason discovered placer gold along a small stream just south of Cape Kubugakli. The Mason claim, which produced a total of 160 ounces (4.5 kg) of gold along with tin and molybdenum over 8 years, was the only historical hard-rock mine in the present-day Katmai Park that ever produced commercial quantities of ore. As part of its operation, the brothers lived in a sod house along the southern shoreline of Kashvik Bay. In 1917, members of the National Geographic Society expedition visited and photographed the house. The location of the house was ideal for access to fresh water, salmon, and a relatively calm shoreline for a boat landing, although the salmon stream probably attracted a large number of bears.

The Alaska Peninsula brown bear is a colloquial name for a large brown bear that lives in the coastal regions of southwestern Gulf of Alaska. According to some sources, it is a population of the mainland grizzly bear subspecies (Ursus arctos horribilis), or the Kodiak bear subspecies (Ursus arctos middendorffi). Alaska Peninsula brown bears are very large, usually ranging in weight from 800 to 1,200 lb (360 to 540 kg). They are found in high densities along the coast where a large amount of food is available year around including beached carrion, clams and sedge grasses, and most importantly the annual salmon runs. The abundance of food allows them to attain huge sizes, some of the biggest in the world. They gather in large numbers at seasonal feeding sites such as anadromous fish streams, and opportunistically at beached carrion such as large marine mammals. For example, over 18 brown bears have been observed feeding on one whale carcass. In 1993, the brown bears of Kashvik Bay were the subject of a documentary (starts at 3 min). Read more here and here. Explore more of Kashvik Bay here:

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