The area Grizzly Bear Lodge uses for viewing bears in the fall is on Knight Inlet’s Glendale River. The viewing stands are a fifteen minute van ride up the river and are located right on the river a few meters (yards) from the waters edge. Some parts of the viewing area are in shallow water where the bears are seen chasing the salmon and catching them on the surface. This takes quite a bit of energy and time as the fish are fast. Other bears prefer to conserve their energy and fish in the deep water, which requires bears to dive to pick up dead or wounded salmon that have drift down from up stream. When deep water fishing it is often easier to walk to shore to eat than constantly diving to retrieve the dropped meat. James O’Donoghue of the UK provided this photo.
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