Grizzly bears are not the only fishers in the area of Grizzly Bear Lodge that have their own style of fishing. Eagles are often seen picking fish off the surface of the water as we travel up Knight Inlet to the grizzly bears or to Johnstone Strait to view the whales. However in most cases they are grabbing herring or small fish not necessarily a salmon the size that the eagle in the photo has caught. A fish this size often means a swim to shore by the eagle. Yes eagles do swim but not by choice. It normally occurs when the salmon caught is too big to lift out of the water and they use their wings to swim to shore. If they are observed from a reasonable distance they will swim with the fish in their claws however if approached to close I have seen them release the catch and fly away. This is a rare photo and should not be expected on a daily basis even though there are many opportunities for eagle pictures on each tour from the lodge.
This is the case when grizzly bears respect each others comfort zone. The head in the lower right corner belongs to a very large female which is not a threat to the mother and cubs but they still have their own fishing areas. The single grizzly dominated the better fishing area near the entrance to the spawning channel while the mother and cubs caught all the salmon they needed a little lower on the river. The abundance of salmon in this area means there is little need to fight and therefore less chance of an injury that could reduce the ability to catch salmon. It is all about fattening for hibernation and fighting is counter productive.Visit our Blog