Ermine & Various Rodentia

The Ermine is a small, carnivorous weasel. It is most active in late Summer and autumn, when it hunts rodents and scavenges fish carcasses in anticipation of the Winter, when it sheds its chestnut brown fur for a pure-white coat.

An Ermine encounter is usually adorable. Almost completely fearless of humans, they will often go out of their way to have a dialogue with you, whether in camp or on the stream. They are also as cunning as they are cute, known to create secret caches of shiny objects in strange places (like the top of a bear head mount inside the lodge) and to try to steal 15-pound Coho from guests by dragging them inch-by-inch back to their burrows.

A former guide at Saltery discovered that the Ermine that live underneath the buildings in camp will stalk and attack hookless flies, even giving a respectable fight as they battle you with their disproportionate strength. Ermine fishing has become a Saltery tradition, and we confidently claim the title of America’s foremost Ermine-fishing lodge.

There is also a healthy population of Beaver around Saltery Lake Lodge. Though these toothyrodents were introduced to Kodiak, they have added to the vibrant animal life an increased salmon fry habitat through the creation of retention ponds.

The lake itself is home to a number of River Otters, though they are rarely seen. Snowshoe Hares can sometimes be seen darting into the brush during your drives to and from fishing spots, along with a native specie of vole.