We view pacific white-sided dolphins both in Knight Inlet on our grizzly bear tour as well as when whale watching in the area of Johnstone Straits.
Vancouver Aquarium’s AquaFacts provides the following interesting facts on their website:
“Pacific white-sided dolphins are found throughout the temperate waters of the North Pacific Ocean from Japan to North America, and from the coasts of Alaska down to Baja, Mexico.In the entire North Pacific, there are estimated to be approximately 900,000 Pacific white-sided dolphins. Dolphins travel in groups throughout their lives. In B.C., Pacific white-sided dolphins are usually encountered in groups of 10 – 100 animals, although some groups have been seen with 2,000 or more individuals.
Pacific white-sided dolphins eat herring, capelin, Pacific sardines, squid, anchovies, salmon, rockfish, pollock, hake and other small fish.Transient killer whales and sharks both eat Pacific white-sided dolphins.
When the dolphins first came back to B.C. waters, it took the killer whales a couple of years to figure out how to catch the fast-moving dolphins. Some killer whale pods drove groups of dolphins into small bays and killed them en masse but this behaviour is no longer as common, suggesting the dolphins have learned to avoid this trap.”
Grizzly bears are omnivores, and their diet can vary widely. They may eat seeds, berries, roots, grasses, fungi, deer, elk, fish, dead animals and insects. In the late summer and early fall, grizzlies enter hyperphagia, a period of 2-4 months when they intensify their calorie intake to put on weight for winter denning. During this time period they can gain more than three pounds a day! Because of their diet grizzly bears have long claws between 3 and 5 inches, which are used for digging, picking fruits, catching prey and this case for holding salmon for their cub. Thanks to Lindy Taylor for another great picture.