Ivanof Bay, Alaska Peninsula

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Ivanof Bay, Alaska Peninsula

by | Mar 5, 2021

lvanof Bay is a community on the Alaska Peninsula at the north end of Ivanof Bay, about 57 miles (92 km) northeast of Sand Point and 13 miles (21 km) west of Perryville, Alaska. The village and nearby river are named after the bay. The village occupies the site of a former fox farm. A salmon cannery was built in the 1930s and operated until the early 1950s. During that time the community had a wharf and a marine railway to support the cannery. In 1956, several families moved from Perryville to Ivanof Bay and it was recognized as an established community in 1965, although today there are few people that stay year round. The residents are largely dependent on subsistence hunting and fishing, and earn revenue from commercial fishing for salmon and halibut.

lvanof Bay is an embayment on the south coast of the Alaska Peninsula, between Stepovak Bay and Humpback Bay. The entrance to the bay is between Alexander Point and the Kupreanof Peninsula. The bay is from 1 to 3 miles (1.6 – 5 km) wide and about 7 miles (11 km) long. The bay was named in 1880 by William Healey Dall of the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey, mostly likely after the cape to the south which was called “Cap Ivanofsky” or “John’s Cape” by Friedrich Benjamin von Lütke in 1836. A portage trail leads to Ivanof Bay from Humpback Bay and was used historically to avoid rounding Alexander Point in small boats. The Granville Portage leads through Smoky Hollow and connects Ivanof Bay and Stepanof Bay.

Ivanof Bay is relatively small and south-facing, and due to its narrow shape, it offers protection from most storms in the Gulf of Alaska. Observers with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service routinely find high concentrations of several waterfowl species of concern using this area. Spring and fall surveys have documented at least 15 species of waterfowl and another nine species of waterbirds using this area. Bald eagles and rough-legged hawks have also been observed during these surveys. A study using satellite collars also found that emperor geese use Ivanof Bay as a wintering area. Marbled murrelets are known to use the bay and several small seabird colonies have been documented along the coast. Read more here and here. Explore more of Ivanof Bay here:

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