Otis returned to Brooks Falls in Katmai on Wednesday. It was the first time he had been seen since last autumn. Otis, the Bear Cam favorite, is believed to be 27 years old. A winner of 4 Fat Bear titles, Otis last won two seasons ago.
Otis is arguably the most skilled fisher-bear in Katmai. His technique is effortless, and he wastes no energy as the old bruin fattens up for another hibernation.
Welcome back Otis. Your fan club has been waiting for you.
Local reports have had several bear sightings this past week. The warmer temps and increased daylight have woke the bruins from their winter slumber. Only one casualty that I know of so far: A 50 pound bag of dog food that was left outside in a shed.
The photo was taken by an NPS employee out at Kennecott Mine in Wrangell-St Elias National Park & Preserve.
There was a somewhat unexpected traveler through downtown Fairbanks on Wednesday. A wolf was spotted alongside a major road in town. Wolves tend to not seek the social media limelight, so they are not often spotted in town. I have seen them outside of town on several occasions over the years, but never anywhere near town.
That said, the wolf was the talk of the town all day, although I was late to the party with my limited social media presence. Fish & Game officials believe the wolf came down the Chena River and took a sight seeing tour of the town. They were keeping tabs on the wolf’s whereabouts, but remaining mum.
It used to be a tradition. A trip to Clam Gulch, clam gun in hand, on the hunt for razor clams. It was always a fun weekend, and we always came back with clams galore.
Those trips have not taken place in 9 years.
The beaches of Clam Gulch and Ninilchik on Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula were once a hot bed for clams. For another year, the counts by the Department of Fish and Game showed poor growth, so the beaches will remain closed.
Ninilchik has shown slight progress with some three year old clams, but Clam Gulch is seeing a mortality rate of 90%.
Aniakchak National Monument is the least visited location with the National Park System, but back in the day, Aniakchak had one rough resident.
A footprint recently found is the first evidence that Tyrannosaurus rex once roamed in the area that is now part of Katmai National Park.
Park Rangers asked, “If you had seen this while exploring Aniakchak, would you have recognized it as a print?” Going by the photo, I would have to say “Not likely”, but I’ll remain optimistic.
The Monument surrounds the Aniakchak Volcano, which had a devastating eruption 3400 years ago. The Aniakchak caldera is 10 miles across and averages 500 meters deep. Within the crater is Surprise Lake, which is the source of the Aniakchak River.
Besides the lake, Vent Mountain is the other prominent feature within the crater. Vent Mountain is the source of the most recent eruption from Aniakchak, which took place in 1931.