river watch

River Watch


Brown Bear Highlight July 14-22

Patches Recovery
Spring Cubs Return

Spring Cubs Return

Meet Beadnose and the Cubs
Mother Protects Her Cubs at Brooks Falls

Mother Protects Her Cubs at Brooks Falls
A Day in Katmai

A Day in Katmai

Meet Ted
high grading

High Grading
time lapse

Brooks Falls Time Lapse
salmon run

Salmon Run
katmai in motion

Katmai in Motion
feeding frenzy

Feeding Frenzy at Brooks Falls
the brown bears of katmai

The Brown Bears of Katmai

activity guide


ranger roy

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Did you know?

Approximately 2,200 bears live in Katmai. In July there may be about 80-100 bears at Brooks Camp.

Brooks Falls is busiest from July through the first week or two of August.

Early in the season, bears eat the entire fish. Then after a few days they will high grade, eating only the most fat-rich parts: brain, skin, belly full of eggs, and the base of the tail. The lean, discarded remains are not wasted and are eagerly consumed by smaller bears, bald eagles, and even wolves.

On days when lots of fish are jumping, there will be fewer bears because they are full and sleeping, and conversely, when the salmon runs are slow, the falls become crowded with bears competing for a meal.

The prime bear watching months are July and September through October.

Salmon runs come in waves that are influenced heavily by commercial fishing and government sanctioned “escapement” policies put in place to ensure a thriving ecosystem.

The Brooks River is part of the largest Sockeye Salmon run in the world and flows from Lake Brooks to Naknek Lake, a distance of roughly a mile.

These bears eat up to 40 Salmon, or as much as 100lbs/100,000 calories of fish per day.

Alaska Brown Bears are the larger coastal form of the Grizzly, which can be found inland.

Katmai National Park and Preserve is 4.1 million acres.

Bears are active 24 hours per day, though more so during the daylight hours.

Brooks River flows from Lake Brooks to Naknek Lake, a distance of about one mile.

The Riffles area is located just 100 yards downstream from Brooks Falls and is prime viewing for mothers and cubs and sub-adults unable to compete yet at the falls.

The Lower River Cam will show as many as 40 bears at once starting late August and carrying through until October.