salmon run

In “The Last Neanderthal”, a novel by Claire Cameron that I am currently reading, isolated Neanderthal families meet at a waterfall in the summer for the salmon run. It is an opportunity to fish, socialize and mate.

Summer meeting place

Neanderthals gather

at the waterfall

Bears also attend and the two species allow each other a respectful distance.

Intrigued by the idea of bears catching salmon in a waterfall, I found this YouTube video showing a brown bear fishing at Brook Falls, Katmai National Park, Alaska:

Autumn salmon run

annual fishing event

hosted by grizzlies


I couldn’t resist also sharing the Wikipedia paragraphs, below. They describe how salmon and bears have a significant impact on local ecology (the fascinating web of life):

In the Pacific Northwest and Alaska, salmon is a keystone species, supporting wildlife from birds to bears and otters.[62] The bodies of salmon represent a transfer of nutrients from the ocean, rich in nitrogen, sulfur, carbon and phosphorus, to the forest ecosystem.

Grizzly bears function as ecosystem engineers, capturing salmon and carrying them into adjacent wooded areas. There they deposit nutrient-rich urine and faeces and partially eaten carcasses. It has been estimated that bears leave up to half the salmon they harvest on the forest floor,[63][64] in densities that can reach 4,000 kilogramse per hectare,[65] providing as much as 24% of the total nitrogen available to the riparian woodlands.[3] The foliage of spruce trees up to 500 m (1,600 ft) from a stream where grizzlies fish salmon have been found to contain nitrogen originating from fished salmon.[3]

—quoted from Wikipedia

©️2018 Ontheland

Inspiration for this post: Haikai Challenge #41 waterfall

15 thoughts on “salmon run

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