Ivanof Bay is a small southerly facing bay on the southern shore of the Alaska Peninsula. It is connected to Stepovak Bay by a low lying pass and flanked by the mountainous Kupreanof Peninsula. Due to its small size and narrow shape, it offers protection from most storm weather in the Gulf of Alaska. Terrestrial habitats range from steep mountains to low wetlands. The interface between the marine and terrestrial landscapes includes rocky intertidal, beaches, and some shallow intertidal areas. The bay reaches up to 85 m in depth at the mouth. Five creeks that support anadromous fish runs feed into the bay. A small village, also called Ivanof Bay, is located at the north end of the bay.

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Ornithological Summary

Spring and fall waterbird surveys by the US Fish & Wildlife Service (primarily King, Dau and Mallek) have documented at least 15 species of waterfowl and another nine species of waterbirds using this area. Bald Eagles and Rough-legged Hawks have been observed during these surveys. Observers routinely find concentrations of several waterfowl species of concern using this area. A study using satellite collars also determined that Emperor Geese use Ivanof Bay as a wintering area (a collared female resided in Ivanof Bay from Nov 30?Mar 15; Hupp et al. 2004). Van Pelt and Piatt (2005) observed a total of 31 Marbled Murrelets on three boat-based transects of Ivanof Bay. Several small seabird colonies are documented along the coast within the nomination area (North Pacific Seabird Colony Database).

Hupp, J.W., Schmutz, J.A. & Ely, C.R. (2004) Migration, Winter Distribution and Spring Prenesting Interval of Emperor Geese. Unpublished Report, US Geological Survey, Anchorage, AK. 23pp.

Van Pelt, T.I. & Piatt, J.F. (2005) Population status of Kittlitz?s Murrelet along the southern coast of the Alaska Peninsula. Final Report to the US Fish and Wildlife Service, US Geological Survey, Anchorage, AK. 63pp.

Conservation Issues

Currently, there are few threats to the area. The location is remote and difficult to access, so there are few visitors. The local residents are interested in the conservation values of the area and make limited use of the subsistence resources. The potential for oil pollution from fishing boats, barges and off-shore transportation is ever present. Mount Veniaminof, a large and active volcano, lies near the bay. Any rise in sea level would affect this coastal area.

Ownership

The Gulf of Alaska coast below mean high tide is under the ownership of the State of Alaska. The uplands are owned by the Federal government and under the management of the US Fish and Wildlife Service/Alaska Peninsula National Wildlife Refuge, Bay View, Inc. (the Village Corporation for Ivanof Bay), and Bristol Bay Native Corporation. Much of the Federal land is also selected by Bay View, Inc.

Habitat

The marine system includes Ivanof Bay (max depth is 85 m), nearshore waters, and a significant shallow tidal area that is favored by feeding waterfowl. Eelgrass is found in these shallows. The marine/terrestrial interface also includes narrow sand and gravel beaches and rocky intertidal areas. The Ivanof River and several other creeks that support anadromous fish populations flow into the bay. A low pass to Stepovak Bay supports a large wetland complex. The surrounding uplands include rocky, unvegetated slopes, alder and willow shrubland and ericaceous shrubland.

Land Use

The small village of Ivanof Bay sits at the head of the bay. The village once numbered approximately 35 residents but, currently, only a few residents remain through the winter months and less than 10 spend the summer. Besides the village, the area is remote and seldom visited. There is little commercial salmon fishing in the area because the run is chums and pinks (not commercially viable). A few tenders come into the bay. For several years the village has sponsored a guide of sport hunters and anglers who has used the local area.

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