Ellen Field, niece of marine educator Carmen Field, gets covered in sea stars near the tip of the Spit during a minus tide.-Photo provided

Ellen Field, niece of marine educator Carmen Field, gets covered in sea stars near the tip of the Spit during a minus tide.-Photo provided

Summertime Spots to See the Spit’s Wild Things

Tip of the Spit

• Flat-bottomed sea stars litter the beach and dangle from pilings during very low tides

• Sea birds — including black-legged kittiwakes, glaucous-winged and mew gulls, and sheerwaters — gather near the metal “dolphins” where the Homer Grind Shack discharges fish waste into the bay

• Fish — check out what people have caught while fishing from shore, including sculpin, pollock, Pacific cod, starry flounder and silver salmon

• Bald eagles linger at the tip of the Spit, often looking for hand-outs from people fishing


• Marine invertebrates, including anemones, sea urchin, chiton, mussels and other colorful marine life grow on the dock structures 

• Seals can be spotted in the harbor, sometimes hauled out on the dock

• Gulls nest near the mouth on the breakwater rocks and on the metal buoy just outside the harbor’s mouth

Beach between Barge Basin
and Homer Harbor

• On a minus tide, grab a tidepool guide from the Pratt Museum, Alaska Islands and Ocean Visitor Center, or Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies and tread carefully to explore these rich intertidal zones. 

Cruise Ship Pavilion

• With binoculars or just the naked eye, you can get a glimpse of nesting kittiwakes on the Deep Water Dock structure

West Side of the Spit

• Scan for sea otters, harbor seals, whales and harbor porpoises

• Explore around mid-beach rocks for barnacles, amphipods and hermit crabs

• High tide is the best time to look for seabirds, including common and Pacific loons, red-necked grebes and pigeon guillemots

Learn More Through
Spit-Based Programs 

Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies — based out of the CACS yurt near the top of Ramp 2.

•Creatures of the Dock tours explore marine life in the Homer Harbor. Use of an ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle) helps participants view organisms beneath the bay’s surface. Daily through August, 1:30 and 4:30 pm. $7. Meet 15 minutes prior to program start. 

•S.P.I.T. Kids Program helps 6-10 year-olds learn more about the natural world. Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, 10 am – 1 pm. Drop-in program. $7 each or 2 for $10. Punch cards available.

• Little S.P.I.T.S. is an ocean-related story hour for 2 – 4 year olds that includes a look at marine invertebrates. Tuesday mornings, 10:30 – 11:30 am. $2 donation requested. 

Call 235-7776 for more information.

Kachemak Bay Birders

Learn more about birding on the Spit during their Aug.15 birding trip. Meet at 6 p.m. in the parking lot at the base of the Spit. Email info@kachemakbaybirders.org for more information.

Alaska Department of Fish & Game

Kids’ Fishing Day at the Nick Dudiak Fishing Lagoon. Saturday, Aug. 1, all day. Part of the Fishing Hole will be open only to anglers aged 15 and younger. ADF&G staff will be available 1-4 p.m. to offer guidance and to loan gear.

Homer Fishing Rod Lender Program makes fishing gear available to anglers of all ages for up to a week from the ADF&G office and Alaska Islands and Ocean Visitor Center.

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