I went yesterday to collect my trail cameras I had set up 7 weeks ago at my favourite salmon/bear stream. I came across 5 bears but zero salmon.
Salmon spawn….and die. Their bodies either sink to the bottom or float downstream. These dead fish get stuck in certain spots along the rivers edge. The bears know this.,and so they “patrol” the river banks going from spot to spot searching for a dinner! The vast majority of salmon a bear will eat are already dead. Why run after food when Mother Nature has a great supermarket/fridge!
So when I paddled upstream I was surprised not see any morts laying on the bottom? I did see bits and pieces but just one whole fish.
When It rains hard,all that rainwater drains down into the river system, swelling the volume. What this basically does is act like a powerful hose. It flushes all those dead salmon out into the estuary, where the hungry happy Gulls await!
This cleans the system of dead salmon. So If It had just rained and flushed,I wouldn’t be so alarmed but It’s been several weeks since strong rains. That means in those two weeks there hasn’t been any salmon to die,and that’s the troubling part. It makes me wonder If there “die off” from that drought?
We won’t know the effects of this drought for 3 years?
Seeing so many bears in such a short span of time and not seeing any salmon was disconcerting.
55 thoughts on “BEARS IN THE MIST”
I hope they are finding other resources to fatten them for the winter….
Ya, a few of them were looking at me intently
It would be a tragedy for you, a bonanza for a lucky bear!
I hope he chokes on me!
LOL! Or tries to eat your camera while you escape to photograph him another day – your fans demand it!
you know as well as I do Doug that It’s the females you have to watch out for!
Why do you think the hunter shot Bambi’s Mom? I suspect Brunella Bear would be a, well, real bear if she had cubs.
You know a bit more about this so I would trust that there is cause for concern. We shall see.
Nature is very resilient!
Yes, nature is resilient and let’s hope we learn to do our part to support her.
best support would be not overfishing, but humans need their money
Hi Wayne, as you know, I share your concern about the effect of climate change on the natural environment. Do the bears have any other food source other than salmon at this time of year?
not really Robbie? All the berries have been eaten by now. About the only thing worthwhile eating up there is “me”.
That is not good news, Wayne, but it is what I thought.
It’s alarming to hear your news, Wayne. I hope the bears are able to adapt to other food sources, but yes, it will take time to find out just how bad this has been. This time last year B.C. had floods and mudslides. These weather extremes are going to make us pay for our lack of environmental care.
I think there might be some hungry tummies going to bed this winter.
It’s so sad to hear that.
It’s a difficult task to know the land so well and watch it changing before our eyes. I hope the bears find food and the rains come again soon. Meanwhile, I am dazzled by your photos, Wayne.
I too hope they can scrounge up a decent meal before beddy bye Jet!
Climate change has caused so many problems for the animals on this planet. I do hope the bears find adequate food to survive the winter months.
fingers crossed my furry friends don’t go to bed with growling tummies Peggy!
Seeing these changes to the ecosystem is distressing. I hope the lack of salmon is temporary.
I’m sure It is Liz, thanks for dropping in!
You’re welcome, Wayne!
Visions of abundance for the bears, the salmon, and the water!
they’ll dream of salmon dancing and prancing
I’d be worried too – I’ve heard rumors about the lack of salmon (overfishing?). I hope the bears have a varied palette but the salmon are very nutritious and fatty for them.
that is the basic problem…..overfishing and I don’t think that’ll change as everybody involved needs their green!
Sorry, I was thinking artist! Palate!
Great shots of the bears under strange circumstances, Wayne.
thank you Terri!
I think you hit the nail on the head – not enough rain – so tough run and some hungry bears. Take care out there!
I hope they don’t see a 200 pound salmon when I walk about?
Worrying for sure Wayne especially if the Bears push toward areas of human habitation looking for a meal.
8 bears were shot in Tofino this year and almost 600 in BC alone
I recall you discussed the topic in a post. Makes me feel uneasy with the what is being done.
Beautiful photos! Love the one with mist, but the bears are always my favorite. Sadly, it sounds like this is another example of climate change impacting the planet. 😞
Thank you Dawn! I hope none of them perish during the winter
These are great photos Wayne – the bear and the mist. I saw signs of drought at every venue I went all Fall, including at Council Point Park where the Ecorse Creek is very low. At one park, the overlook looks out to mud and tree roots, debris, etc. It used to be over a lagoon which is totally dried up. I feel for the creatures, like the salmon, who depend on water to live … more so for fish than a bird or bear who are there to eat, not to survive and procreate. It’s very sad to watch this happen for someone who is familiar with the area and its inhabitants.
It’s a tough Gig!
P.S. – Do the rocks hurt the bears feet. They look like they must be smooth from the water rushing over them but I’m sure bear’s pads aren’t that tough.
Bears pads are extremely thick and tough!
Okay, thanks for the clarification Wayne. I wondered because, even though the rocks were likely smooth from the water, it would seem to harm those bear pads.
If the stones are sharp they walk more gently.
I see – I would think they would hurt. At least they are not hot like some smooth rocks as your weather is more temperate, not sweltering hot.
Yes it is terribly sad. I am so sorry.
Hopefully, they’re getting enough food for winter
This is very worrying, Wayne. Such beautiful photos.
thank you Emma!
I can understand why you’re worried. Usually nature ebbs and flows, and animals adapt. Fingers crossed all will return to ‘normal’ over time.
I love the mist quality in the photos. I found it interesting what you explained about why you were concerned vis-a-vis the lack of salmon and the drought. I also found some of your comments interesting and it made wonder about protection for yourself. Besides a healthy respect I mean. Careful out there amigo. I wonder if you can buy something that smells yucky so they lose interest fast and just spray it on your boots.
the best defence I have is my observations.
You like me and everyone else have grown up with dogs. So we all are familiar with their body language. We know when we can go pet a dog and when not to because we recognize certain behaviours.
It’s the same with a bear. Being familiar with their behaviour is my best defence. If they do not want me around they’ll tell me. All I have to do is recognize the body language!