Sport fishing

Pelican is ideally located on northwestern corner of Chichagof Island to offer a wide array of sport fishing opportunities. During the heyday of commercial salmon trolling the port led the world in landings of king salmon. With restrictions of the U.S/Canada Salmon Treaty in place the commercial catch is limited to a fraction of the past; this has resulted in more opportunities for the sportsman. In recent years our member charter boats have brought in king salmon weighing over 50#’s. Catches in the 20# to 40# range are common. Lisianski Inlet and Straits offer protected waters for fishing. In July and August large runs of coho salmon surge in from the Gulf of Alaska headed for streams adjacent to Pelican and others within Icy Straits.

Halibut occur within the immediate waters around Pelican and further out around the outer coast of Yakobi Island. “A female can release from 500,000 to 4 million eggs depending on the size of the fish. Female halibut live longer and grow faster and larger than do males. Few males exceed 80 pounds and generally all halibut over 100 pounds are females, (alaskaoutdoorjournal.com).” After reading up on these grand ladies of the deep it might make more sense to photograph, release and look for one of the more tender 40# variety; that decision is ultimately the angler’s. The 2014 Area 2c regulations allow an angler 1 halibut per day, the fish must be less than 44” in length or over 76”. A 44” fish dresses out at about 30# and can be expected to produce about 18# of fillets. A 76” length fish weighs about 234#, dresses out at around 176#, and produces about 110# of fillets.

Rock fish are abundant in the area. One of the species commonly known as “black bass” is very prevalent; catching a limit of these, ( 5 per day), may take only minutes.Other species ling cod, yellow eye, and quillback are readily available and will nicely round out your take home catch

Rock fish are abundant in the area. One of the species commonly known as “black bass” is very prevalent; catching a limit of these, ( 5 per day), may take only minutes.Other species ling cod, yellow eye, and quillback are readily available and will nicely round out your take home catch.
Freshwater fish are found in many of the local streams and lakes, the most common species are dolly varden, cutthroat, and steelhead. Of course, most of the streams have a return of coho, sockeye, keta, and pink salmon. Check with the guides on this website to see if they have a favorite local freshwater hotspot.
Outdoor photography & nature tours

Outdoor photography & nature tours

Pelican is situated within the Tongass national forest, one of the largest temperate rainforests in the world. When you add the fjords of Lisianski inlet and straits plus the outside coast of the west Chichagof & Yakobi island wilderness area, you have some of the most awesome scenery in Alaska. Pelican based guides/outfitters can take you on hikes through old growth rainforests and alpine mountainsides. The mammals of the area consist primarily of brown bear, Sitka black tail deer, land otter, mink, marten, and red squirrels. There are a wide variety of birds; the American bald eagle is very prevalent as well as the blue heron. Along the coastline you will find puffins, terns, gulls, cormorants, ducks, and geese. Mergansers, kingfishers, etc.

If hiking is not your activity then hire one of the local charter boats for a water tour. Pelican is close to some very special whale viewing areas; in fact you often hear the whales before you see them. Besides whales, other sea mammals commonly seen are sea otters, seals, and sea lions. A boat cruise is likely to allow close up photography of brown bear grazing on a beach without the trepidation of being on the same piece of turf. It is very easy to spend the entire day cruising and drifting in a boat while photographing the local wildlife in the spectacular backdrop of our remote setting

4th of July celebration

4th of July celebration

Come and join in on the festivities on the 4th of july. Starting on the 3rd. There is a very substantial fireworks display beginning at 11:00 pm. The rockets spiraling skyward are dazzling; the explosions from the rocket bursts reverberate within the fjord putting an exclamation point on the very impressive display. Needless to say the local “watering holes” are going full steam with partygoers, you may find live music and some contests inside that are best not described here.  

On the 4th the day kicks off with a parade on the boardwalk. This purely hometown parade is highlighted with several “floats” and performances that are so imaginative and uniquely Pelican that you must be there to appreciate them. At the conclusion of the parade there is a community picnic at the south end of the boardwalk on “whisky flats”. There are games and prizes for kids of all ages. Later in the day there will be a very entertaining greased trolling pole contest and the “anything but a boat” float contest at the harbor.

Kayaking

Kayaking

Pelican is in the center of world-class sea kayaking waters. There are approximately 40 miles of protected inside waters immediately accessible in the form of Lisianski inlet, Lisianski straits, and stag bay, (chart 17303). The outside coastal waters of Chichagof and Yakobi islands offer hundreds of miles of coastline dotted with protected bays, estuaries, channels, etc. An Alaska state ferry travels to Pelican from Juneau every two weeks in the summer months. The ferry offers a convenient method for kayakers to transport their watercrafts to and from Pelican. Kayaks are also available for rent in Pelican.

Hotsprings tour

Hotsprings tour

Approximately twenty nautical miles from Pelican is white sulphur hot springs. This site of a natural hot springs has been developed by the forest service to include a guest cabin and a covered hot spring pool with a bathhouse. There is an outside pool where one can stretch out, soak the aches and pains away while listening to the ocean swells break on the shoreline. The inside pool has a shuttered front window, opening it one has a panoramic view of bertha bay, (chart 17321). Contact one of the Pelican charter boat operators for a quote on visiting this special place.

Pelican; a site for retreats, reflections, and small conventions.

Pelican; a site for retreats, reflections, and small conventions.

If you are a group of one or 100 needing a place off the beaten track to write a book, hold a work retreat, or conduct a small convention, Pelican could be your answer. Without the hustle and bustle of traffic, the noise of emergency sirens, and other disturbances associated with urban life, Pelican is the ideal location for concentration, reflection, and/or introspection. 

The city of Pelican owns and manages the community hall, a building that can easily accommodate a group of 75 to 100 persons. The hall is equipped with a kitchen and of course restrooms. The hall is available for rent to private and public groups. Housing can be found from a number of businesses found under “Pelican lodging” on this website. The city also has bunkhouse style apartments for large gatherings or where economy is a necessity. If you have special housing needs, a representative of the city will assist you at 907-735-2202.

Pelican attractions

The itinerant visitor will have a lot to see and do without even leaving the Pelican city limits. The boardwalk stretches over a mile from one end of town to the other. Strolling the boardwalk you have a birds eye view of the harbor and adjacent beaches. Here you are apt to see land otter, mink, deer, bald eagles, ducks, geese, and schools of herring. From mid-July through September, salmon can be seen from the Pelican creek bridge as they swim upstream to spawn. 

For the younger generation there is a school playground, a covered outdoor basketball court, and the school gym is often open in the evenings for basketball. The public library may have a children’s story hour; check the library bulletin boards for announcements. The library is open during the summer and offers a diverse selection of books and papers and a public computer with high-speed internet access. 

Totem poles have been added to Pelican’s landscape. In front of city hall towers the “unity” totem pole and two more totems can be seen in front of the Pelican school. The totems were carved as community projects; many locals took part in the actual carving under the tutelage of Stan Marsden, a Tsimshian master carver originally from Metlakatla, Alaska.