The reason Grizzly Bear Lodge is successful viewing bears on Knight Inlet’s Glendale River is the presence of salmon in the man-made spawning channel. The salmon arrive in the area mid-August and we are permitted to travel to the viewing stands from August 25 to mid-October. Most salmon caught by the grizzly bears are eaten on site moving off the river to eat would mean loss of a prime fishing position. There is a change in the bears as we watch from the viewing stands as it is possible to eat only so many salmon at one time and we are in the stands for two hours. The time limit is determined by government regulations.
Wikipedia offers a good explanation of spyhopping: “When spyhopping, the whale rises and holds position partially out of the water, often exposing its entire rostrum and head, and is visually akin to a human treading water. Spyhopping is controlled and slow, and can last for minutes at a time if the whale is sufficiently inquisitive about whatever (or whomever) it is viewing.
Generally, the whale does not appear to swim to maintain its “elevated” position while spyhopping, instead relying on exceptional buoyancy control and positioning with pectoral fins. Typically the whale’s eyes will be slightly above or below the surface of the water, enabling it to see whatever is nearby on the surface.
Spyhopping often occurs during a “mugging” situation, where the focus of a whale’s attention is on a boat rather than on other nearby whales. Spyhopping among orcas may be to view prey species. For this a spyhop may be more useful than a breach, because the view is held steady for a longer period of time.”
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