The tours from the lodge travel up Knight Inlet by boat and then take a short van ride to the viewing stands on the Glendale River’s spawning channel. The entrance to the viewing stands is made from steel posts and heavy gage wire. The stands are about ten feet (three meters) off the ground. Occasionally the juvenile bears are curious and would like to visit which is not a great idea but good for pictures.
A glassy calm day in the waters of Johnstone Strait which is located between Vancouver and the BC mainland. An interesting photo if you look closely and see the reflection in the water around the eye patch.
Approximately five years ago humpback whales started spend more time in the area between Vancouver Island and British Columbia’s mainland coast. Telegraph Cove and our viewing area has always been popular for orca but now it is common to see a mother humpback and calf. Every summer we are seeing more calves in our viewing area.
Every tour is different and this is why after years of doing this the guides still enjoy a day on the water or with the bears. All the guides have been with the lodge for at least ten years each. The difference is that you are never sure what you will see. In this case the first photo is on the road close to the viewing stands the second on the river bank in the same area. The bears have accepted us as part of their surroundings and at times act more like pet dogs than grizzlies. But not as near as friendly. Note the grizzly is in the pig family not canine.
Morning viewing tours leave the lodge to head up Knight Inlet by 8:00. When on tour one is always looking for wildlife. The most common sightings as we travel 26 kilometers up Knight Inlet to the Glendale estuary are black bears, eagles, porpoise and dolphins. In this case the grizzly has company but are too hungry to care. The deer are to fast on the beach and the grizzly knows this “so why waste the energy”.
Spring and early summer bring the grizzly bear mothers to the shore of Knight Inlet to look for food. Eating either sedge grass that is common to all of BC coastal river estuary or turning over rocks to eat whatever moves. On the tours from the lodge it is common to see the first year cubs and their mothers. In this case a mother grizzly trying to get a bite to eat while the cub stays close. The spring cubs in the estuary do not stray far from mum.
Good view of a black bear swimming between the many island in our area. Between Vancouver Island and the lodge on Minstrel Island there are hundreds of islands of various sizes. During the viewing season I normally see four or five in the water. This is a picture from the spring because the back is very low in the water. In the fall much more of the back would be above water because of the high fat content of the bear’s body.
The northern resident orca pods contain more than 230 orca in total. The northern pods mean north of Campbell River on Vancouver Island and extending the British Columbia coast. This is a large male resident orca. Good to get a photo with much of the back exposed. The timing is harder than one would think.
A grizzly bear tour from the lodge is always easier on the guide when you arrive at the viewing stand to the site in this picture. Most days we are in the second viewing stand so you do not have the weir in your photos. A little more natural. Yes there are just as many bears at the other stand less than one hundred yards (meters) away. Unlike the grizzly of Alaska the bears of Knight Inlet do not do a lot of fighting as there is an abundance of food for the number of bears so they are to busy eating. By count there are more than forty bears in Glendale River viewing area.
This is why the grizzly bears come to Knight Inlet’s Glendale River in the fall. The metal posts are from the weir, which controls the water level in the man made spawning channel. If you look closely you can see the legs and nose of a grizzly trying to make a selection.