Where there’s salmon….


Text by Liz McKenzie and Photos by Richard Nelson

Recently, I went to a large lake near my home in southeast Alaska to make an Encounters radio program about subsistence salmon fishing.  I found these bears taking advantage of sockeye salmon piling up behind a weir (used by biologists to count fish returning to spawn).

This program is the beginning of an Encounters series exploring various aspects of salmon and their place in the history, economy, and culture of Alaska’s people.  The series is funded by the Alaska Sustainable Salmon Fund.

I spent many hours watching the fish.  I even managed to catch a few, and I was lucky enough to keep peaceful company with a mother brown bear and her two tiny, hopelessly cute cubs.

And the next day, a very dark brown bear took advantage of the huckleberries in my own back yard. 

Mark Bethka