Snorkeling, Anyone?

During my Hallo Bay photo trip, I found several brown bears “snorkeling”, the term used to describe a bear with their head underwater, looking for fish swimming in the creek. This was not a new behavior for me to see; every time I’ve been to Hallo Bay in the fall salmon runs, there have always been a few bears exhibiting this behavior. Snorkeling is most effective when the waters are deeper; at extremely low tides, the salmon can easily be seen as they struggle in the shallow water to swim upstream to their spawning grounds. But when the low tide vanishes and the high tide begins to come in, the water levels in the creek can rise quite high. Snorkeling in these conditions brings more success to the fishing bears.

Here are a few images I captured of snorkeling bears during my recent trip:

Brown Bear snorkeling for salmon

Brown Bear snorkeling for salmon

Brown Bear snorkeling for salmon in deeper water



And although I’ve seen several bears using this technique to find/catch salmon in deeper waters, I can only remember 2 bears (both from previous trips to Hallo Bay) that will get their heads low enough in the water to cover their ears. The bears appear to not like to get water in their ears … but when they do, you can always count on a good “head shake” to clear the ears of water once they emerge!

Posted in Mammals, Nature Photography, Travel Photography
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