Bear Brawl on Baranof
By Dai Mar Tamarack
This week we made a stop on Baranof Island to check out a little creek that I thought might have some salmon in it. Turns out the Coho, or silver salmon, were returning to the stream in droves. And luckily enough we weren’t the only ones to be drawn to this stream…brown bears were also there. I guess Coho is pretty high on their menu because when we first glanced over the stream bank we found ourselves looking down at 12 brown bears.
They were so focused on catching salmon that we were able to hang out on the bank without disturbing them. Some of our group were taking pictures and videos, while others were just trying to savor the moment with their eyes and ears. Bears were biting into female salmon sending bright red roe arcing out. A few times fights broke out between the bears over who gets the salmon. Usually it wasn’t the bear who actually caught it.
To have all of this unfold so close to us was a true Alaskan experience.