Fishing in the Falls

There is an iconic photograph, made famous by Thomas Mangelsen (world renowned nature photographer) and used as his logo for  his “Images of Nature” company. It’s a salmon jumping into the mouth of a grizzly bear. I thought of that image as I watched and photographed grizzly bears standing at the top of the Brooks falls (Katmai National Park, Alaska) catching sockeye salmon as they jump up the falls to reach their spawning grounds.

Ready For the Catch

Ready For the Catch

Caught One

Caught One

Two or more bears perched at the top of the falls can lead to conflict and disputes. A larger bear will often exercise his dominance and force the lesser bear to retreat from the best spot or give up a fish. Fights often break out over turf and food.

Thats My Fish

Thats My Fish

Food Fight

Food Fight

The bears will congregrate below the falls where they can catch the fish by lunging and diving. The younger bears will catch a fish and run from the site to avoid having their catch “stolen” by the older and bigger bears.

Galloping Gourmet

Galloping Gourmet

Click on the video to watch a frustrated bear catch a salmon, lose the salmon as he tries to grab another one and makes many attempts to catch the ones jumping around him:

Be sure to read the other posts on the bears of Katmai.

For the full portfolio of the bears at Katmai go to my Grizzly Bears Gallery on my website: RichardSeeleyPhotogaphy.com>Grizzly Bears Gallery

~ by richardseeley on September 3, 2010.

2 Responses to “Fishing in the Falls”

  1. Thank you for sharing. What an adventure!

    Like

  2. Richard, we were with the Wagmans when we met on the little boat day trip in Alaska (you photographed the puffins) in early August. We however did not go on to Katmai.
    I love your pictures and just enjoyed your movie clip of the frustrated bear. Magnificent area and your pictures are outstanding. I’ll share this with my students one day. Thanks for capturing it.

    Jeanne

    Like

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