This mother grizzly with the salmon and her cub are about 50 meters (yards) across the river acting natural – fishing. The guests most often comment that this experience is much different than viewing grizzlies on Knight Inlet’s Glendale River the location of our primary grizzly viewing. First is that you are not in a skiff on the river or a viewing stand overlooking the spawning channel. Your are sitting across a river from a grizzly and if it choose could cross the river. Second there is Rick who has spent close to thirty years with these bears. They know his voice and respond in a calm manner when they hear Rick talking to them. If they are walking up river to where you are sitting Rick will stand and start talking as we back off to another location. The bears do not turn and run rather they continue toward you to complete their task and you get to watch them fish.
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