This is to be a grizzly bear family that is together for it’s third summer. It is one of the cubs that caught the salmon the mother is on the right. Not sure what has her interest as we were sitting in our skiff about forty meters in front of the cub with the salmon. Actually the guests were in the skiff I was sitting on the bow of the boat holding it in place on the river. The grizzlies did turn and cross the river to eat the salmon but also came back to catch several more while we watched from front row seats. The only time we got their attention was when I stood up to move the skiff away from their fishing area and the mother stopped and looked our way. I sat down and she went back to fishing. We are part of the background as long as we play by the rule – Do not move.
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