2023—Snorkeling for Salmon

A mother bear with two small COYS, cubs of the year, i.e., cubs born this year, acted like she was snorkeling for salmon every time we saw her at the bend in the river. We could see the top of her head and ears protruding from the water as she dipped her head under and looked for an opportunity to grab a salmon swimming by. Unlike the Mama Bear with three cubs, all of whom splashed into the water time and time again chasing salmon, she chose to swim out, dip her head under, and watch, often emerging with a salmon in her claws. Most days when we saw her snorkeling, she would soon disappear with her cubs as she seemed a bit shy of us. But as we motored back to camp on our last evening, she was snorkeling, her cubs watching, but concealed, from the water’s edge, and she did not immediately bolt from the area. We were close in the boat in this shot, maybe 50 feet, when she emerged and shook the water from her head.

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