• Large male brown bear at Brooks Falls

    Katmai

    National Park & Preserve Alaska

Katmai Terrane

Bear resting near the Brooks Camp Campground
NPS/C. Billock
 

About This Blog

Bears. Salmon. Volcanoes. Wilderness. Culture. These are the terranes of Katmai. Each is distinct, but in combination these features create a place like no other. Read about the uniqueness of Katmai in this blog.

Dynamics of the Brooks River Sockeye

July 27, 2013 Posted by: Michael Fitz

In winter, ice and snow cover much of Katmai’s landscape. Salmon fry bide their time waiting to become smolt and run to sea. Later in the year and soon after the smolt depart, much larger salmon are returning from the ocean. In late June, schools of silvery and energetic fish begin to pulse through the river. During August and September, the Brooks River is dotted with ruby-colored jewels digging nests and fighting for territory. Soon after, the waters of Katmai begin to quiet again. The salmon have spawned and most are dead. Eggs are quietly incubating. These are extreme contrasts, but the Brooks River is a dynamic place. Maybe nothing else better illustrates this than the annual sockeye salmon run--a powerful example of change, adaptation, and instinct.

 

Did You Know?

Cub in water

The average mid-summer weight of Katmai's adult male bears is 600-900 pounds (272-408 kg). Some of those bears will weigh over 1000 pounds (450 kg) in the fall. Amazingly, those bears only weighed 1 pound (.5 kg) when they were born.