Carroll Inlet

Marvin Davis displays an 8-inch Dungeness Crab from upper Carroll Inlet

Marvin Davis displays an 8-inch Dungeness Crab from upper Carroll Inlet

Marvin Lani Davis enjoyed a brief visit from their daughter Mandy, her husband Kevin and the two grandchildren over the Blueberry Festival weekend. While here, the whole family took a couple of days to visit Carroll Inlet destinations, spending the night at the Swan Lake dock facility and power plant, about 30 miles or so from Thomas Basin.

They were all impressed by the fact there was fresh water at the dock, as well as 120 v. circuit power, a very nice and large play area for the kids to burn off some calories, a gazebo with gas grills, crab cookers, propane gas for the cookers, split wood for the fireplace, all covered, and with a nice picnic table. And internet connection too! Thank you KPU and SEAPA!

In the late afternoon 5 crab pots were placed near the creek flats, which shallow up very quickly (Skippers: exercise care when maneuvering particularly at high tide.) These were checked and emptied 24 hrs later, just before departure back to Ketchikan, resulting in 16 nice crab kept out of 26 legal ones, but some of which were just molted and very light. One crab in particular was the largest Marvin has seen, close to or at 9 inches.

Several goats were spotted on the bald area just to the right of the inlet head, and were watched for a few minutes before returning back to Ketchikan. Fresh crab was enjoyed back in Ketchikan that evening, all picked and packed away by 9 pm., while Mandy made a delicious crab quiche for breakfast the next day prior to their departure south.

Navigation Notes:

The Davis’ reported total cruise time up and back at just a couple minutes over 4 hours, with a 13.5 to 14 knot cruise average. When approaching inbound to the Swan Lake dock, keep a course well to port side of the channel, as there is a large bar and flats on the outfall side of the power plant. Once past the power plant it is safe to go into the docking area.

Avoid tying to airplane float, instead use the docking float to far left of ramp. At the head of ramp there is a phone unit that directly calls the power house and let’s them know there are visitors, as well as a guest sign in.

In discussions with the power house crew, they mentioned that the weather can be very different up there, particularly with wind conditions in the long narrow fjords. There are several other destinations in Carroll Inlet, among them Shelter Cove, Shoal Cove and Gnat Cove that provide tie up docks or good anchorages for overnight if the weather deteriorates.

There is a road that winds up the hill for about a mile to about 500′ elevation and the dam face.


Disclaimer: Ketchikan Yacht Club destinations are meant to convey a brief description and some current local knowledge to folks who want to learn more about our cruising area.  Although the information presented here is thought to be accurate, KYC accepts no responsibility for inappropriate use of the information; boaters and others are cautioned to  consult authoritive sources of information on navigation, weather, land ownership, and federal or state agency policies before venturing out.