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Shelikof Strait separates the mainland coastal strip of the Kodiak Island Borough from its Kodiak Island portion and is about 150 statute miles (240 kilometers) long and 25 to 30 statute miles (40 to 48 kilometers) wide. Cook Inlet is at its northern end. The strait is well known for its extreme tidal flow due to its close proximity to Cook Inlet, which can have maximum tidal variances of up to 40 feet (12 meters).
The strait is named after Grigory Shelikhov (1747–1795), also spelled "Shelikof", the Russian fur trader who founded the first Russian settlement in what is now Alaska at Three Saints Bay on Kodiak Island in 1784.
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