Alaska / North America / Pic of the Week

“Pic of the Week”, December 18, 2020: Brown Bear fishing at Devil’s Falls, Alaska

Fishing 00

We planned our latest visit to Alaska to coincide with the salmon spawning season because this is when large numbers of Alaskan brown bears migrate to the rivers and streams to begin a feast, fattening themselves for the upcoming winter hibernation.

It had been a nearly rain-free and warm summer in Alaska and many of the streams were dry.  Fortunately Devil’s Falls, which drains glacier melt from the mountains of Katmai National Park, was in full flow.  The base of the falls is only a few meters above sea level but, nonetheless, salmon spawn here and bears gather to catch them.  Our boats could go only so far up the river during rising tide because of all the rocks in the shallow water, so our view of these bears was a little distant.  Still, the setting of bears wandering among algae-covered rocks and roaring water is memorable.

We spent some time watching this female grizzly and her nearly grown (perhaps 3 year old) cub fishing the stream. 

The cub disappeared after awhile but the mother bear kept fishing, catching several salmon and quickly devouring each one.  The video-clip below some of that action with you.

(Click on thumbnail to enlarge, right arrow to advance slideshow)

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