The grizzly bear tours from Grizzly Bear Lodge travel up Knight Inlet to the viewing stands, which overlook the spawning channel on the Glendale River. On either side of the stands we have the natural river and the entrance to the spawning channel. Both of these contain thousands of salmon that are in the river to spawn. It is this abundance of salmon that attract the grizzly bears to the area and many mothers and cubs come as the fishing and more important the catching is easy. Although they prime motivator is to fatten for the winter hibernation as this photo shows there is always time to play, especially for the cubs.
The last 3 years we have been starting to view sea otters in our area more regularly. They are still often a distance away, but the sightings are increasing with some “rafts” of them developing in areas near the western portion of our whale watching trips. These animals were hunted heavily for their fur and were completely wiped out of British Columbia waters. Re-introduction occurred from Alaskan otters in the 1960’s. They have long been protected and their numbers have been steadily increasing along the exposed BC coast and are now moving back into inside waters. They are unique in that they don’t have the insulating blubber that other marine mammals use to keep warm. As a result they have dense (over 1 million hairs per square inch) fur and feed heavily. They are important in balancing the eco-system. They eat a lot of sea urchins, which eat a lot of kelp. Kelp is extremely important as it provides cover for juvenile fish and is where the herring spawn in the early spring. With the increase in these otters we are seeing a greater abundance and healthier kelp forests.Visit our Blog