Because bears are close to the ground,they cannot see down into the water very well.We are taller & thus can see down into the water better.If you could fly up into the air & look straight down,you’d be able to see all the salmon swimming about in that stream.
Some bears have found a way of getting around this ocular disabilty.They know the salmon are swimming around but cannot see them.They look for the fin on the back of the salmon to poke above the water.This is the salmons dorsal fin.The salmon probably isn’t even aware that their fin is above the water? This can only happen in the shallows or when the salmon swims close to the surface. Smart bears look for these fins as a “Hi,I’m over here”sign.They charge into the water & lunge after the fin knowing there is a tasty salmon there.
Thats what is going on here. Once they get their prize they dart off into the forest to devour it in privacy.Whenever a bear grabs a salmon they are very aware that other larger bears may charge them.They are forced to drop their prize & run off while the charging bear picks up the salmon.
You can see this female bear watching me intently when she picks up her salmon.Even though she knows me she is afraid I will charge her & take her prize.It takes a long time for a bear to trust another animal.This is where I need to be patient.