Brown Bear

This picture was taken on a penninsula off Lynn Canal outside of Juneau by someone Mike works with.
I understand you don't want to mess with the Brown Bears. They are sure cute to look at, but they can be very hazardous to your health!!!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Sockeye Salmon - and MORE - Sockeye Salmon!!!

So many salmon in the creeks! We walked around and found a nice deep area that the salmon really seemed to be happy in. We watched them spawn and chase after dolly varden trout that were interested in snacking on their eggs. What a neat thing to witness.
Sad when you think this is the end for them, but it is their life. This is how they go out. Glad we get to share some of the experience with them.Here is a small Dolly Varden Trout that kept getting chased off by the Sockeyes! The sockeye have their start in the streams & creeks they are spawned in and then as they grow out of the 'fry' stage, they venture out to the sea. They live their lives in a salt-water home but when it is time, they make the journey back to the fresh-water stream they were born in... (hatched) whatever... When they arrive in the fresh water, they go through some physical changes.
One of the changes is skin color. They become very bright and beautiful.

Another change is that they will no longer be eating. They come for a purpose, to spawn, to protect their nest and to die.
The 'slime-coat' that once protected their skin is now gone and they begin to have illness and disease until they ultimately die. If you have a fish tank, you may have seen fish with 'ick'... these guys start looking something like that.They don't get to just die in peace either. They spend their last moments alive ensuring a safe nesting area for their eggs and fighting to protect their little family from trout who want to eat them and from other sockeye that may disturb their nice tidy nest. But the other fish aren't the only threat. The streams become heavily populated with hungry mink, beavers, bears and eagles to mention a few. It is interesting to see how their life cycle attracts so many other critters. (Not to mention the humans!)

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Black Bear & Cubs 7/23/09