Bears and Humans Wait for Salmon
I went out fishing before work. Rumors abound, there are fish around.
I didn’t catch anything, but I saw fish jumping. They are coming in! From their long pelagic sojourn, returning home. There has already been plenty of lyrical writing about wild salmon. I don’t have much to add but this:
Every year, it is a miracle. Every year it is a pulse of life that wakes everything in Alaska. They lift the sea. The tide lifts them.
The bears are waiting for the fish. The people are waiting for the fish. It’s about to begin!
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Bears up close!!! Jeff was our guide and Alec was our pilot in the float plane that took us to and from the island. Jeff guided us along the water during high tide to get to the viewing area, an area that... read moreJeff was our guide and Alec was our pilot in the float plane that took us to and from the island. Jeff guided us along the water during high tide to get to the viewing area, an area that all guides will not go beyond - this ensures safety for us viewing and allows the bears a consistent area to expect people. We saw bears come to the stream and then heard a noise behind us. Yes, another bear! But once she saw us, she went back into the woods with her 3 young cubs and went around us to the stream (whew! Glad we had Jeff there to keep us safe). We watched 9 bears play and fish and took numerous pictures and watched close up with binoculars and scopes; Jeff helped to set up the scope for optimal viewing and told us about the bears. Take a good camera for the best pictures. Taking the float plane back to Juneau, Alec pointed out some humpback whales. Also there were numerous rainbows so look out the windows at the incredible sights as well!! read less
AN AMAZING ONCE IN A LIFETIME EXPERIENCE. In mid August my wife and I took our highly anticipated float plane trip from Juneau to Admiralty island to hopefully experience wild bears up close. Our guide for this trip was Hanna. She was very... read moreIn mid August my wife and I took our highly anticipated float plane trip from Juneau to Admiralty island to hopefully experience wild bears up close. Our guide for this trip was Hanna. She was very knowledgeable and and reassuring.
WOW. Was good fortune on our side. When we arrived on the island and headed towards our viewing area there was already one large female bear there with two cubs. The mother bear was catching salmon in the nearby steam and then her and her cubs would feast on the fish. We were about 75 meters from these bears.
Within five minutes we spotted another large female bear and two cubs running through the grass heading almost directly towards us. As we remained still and quiet at our viewing place these new arrivals trotted along and came to within about 25-30 meters from us. As they crossed directly in front of us the two cubs stopped and each stood up for a few seconds and then in unison they moved off with their mother where she also started catching salmon. To have these magnificent animals fishing and lounging around so close to us was totally amazing. We watched these six bear for well over an hour or so. Later several other individual bears appeared coming down the stream towards us as they in turn were catching salmon.
Later we walked several kilometers inland to a viewing tower. Although no bears were visible from that location we did hear the loud sound of a bear growling in the woods as we started that walk. We eventually returned to our initial viewing area and there were still a mother and two cubs nearby. It was an unbelievable and unforgettable experience that will stay with us forever. The video footage of the bear and cubs running in towards us and then standing close by is amazing.
This was the highlight of our trip through Alaska, the Rocky Mountains and New York.
Yes it is expensive but well worth it. read less