Grizzly sow and cub fishing in Naknek Lake, Katmai National Park
There were 12 grizzlies between us and our campsite that afternoon. We were spending the better part of a week in Katmai National Park, and camping in Brooks Campground. It was late in the season, the visitors had thinned out -there were only 4 tents left in the campground- and the bears were starting to venture closer to the camp. The main trail to the campground follows the shore of Naknek Lake, and the beach is quite popular with sows, as beached fish carcasses provide an easy meal without having to compete with the boars. We weren't surprised we had to wait for bears to clear the beach - in fact, on the day we left, 3 bears were sleeping underneath the float plane, and our flight was delayed until they decided to move. As luck would have it, the sow and cub closest to us that afternoon put on quite a show. The sow was dredging the shallows for discarded fish parts, and came up with sizeable pieces every so often. The cub would hover around her, and wait for his mom to pass on a scrap. He would then quickly carry it to the beach and devour it noisily. Over the span of half an hour, we saw him bring in a variety of unidentifiable fish parts - until he proudly made off with the head of a sockeye salmon.