This photo was taken from the viewing stand on Knight Inlet’s Glendale River. Grizzly Bear Lodge is permitted to use the stands after August 24th. By this time the salmon have been in the river for close to two weeks and the bears have come to the area to fatten for the winter, because of the abundance of pink salmon. Grizzly bear mothers and cubs are common in the viewing area and this photo has yearling triplets below the stands keeping close attention on another bear fishing in the other end of the pool (30 meters away). This area of the pool is to deep for the cubs to try fishing so mother catches and brings the salmon to them on shore; but she also keeps an eye on other grizzly bears fishing in the area.
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