Interesting Facts About Bear Creek Weir: Discover Wildlife!

During May and June, several smolts are released into the Bear Lake, and they swim down the Bear Creek to salt water at the head of Resurrection Bay. From July to September, between 10,000 to 20,000 sockeye salmon swim 7 miles up the creek, peaking in June-July. Coho salmon often arrive between late July and September. Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association regulates the migrating salmon at the weir. A viewing spot provides families a remarkable place to watch artificial salmon management techniques and to see adult fish try to leap the modern falls. Watch for also American dippers in and along the stream below the weir.
creekbearAlso, Bear Creek RV Park is within a walking distance of the Bear Creek weir, and Bear Lake where you will see salmon swimming smoothly and jumping the entire body out of the water to reach the lake.
The viewing spot is an excellent spot to watch the many thousands adult fish try to leap the artificial falls. In latest years, a residential community has also grown up around the previously private facility raising high concerns concerning bears feeding on the reared fish. Any visitors stopping by should always keep an eye out for more creatures, not just fish.
Five facts you should know about Bear Creek Weir:
1. Viewing Tip
Always visit in July and June for spawning sockeye, and late July to September for spawning Coho salmon. Watch for Golden-crowned and Ruby-crowned Kinglets in the trees.
American dippers that nest upstream of the culverts can at times be seen zipping through the culvert instead of over the roadway.
It has happened to all of us. You are walking down the trail and there, out of the corner of your eye, is the tip of an animal’s tail disappearing, a short flash of color, or a dashed movement plunging deeper into the bush. The fact is, animals usually hear, see, and smell us long ago before we’ve any idea they are actually present. However, if you hone your senses and learn how to choose animal signs from your surroundings, you will stand a good chance of seeing far beyond a flash of movement.
2. Habitat
Bear Creek is a purely a rush riparian habitat running through a temperate Sitka spruce.
3. Economic Connection
Bear Creek Weir is a crucial link in the region salmon management scheme. Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association usually operates the weir, under a cooperative agreement with the Alaska Fish and Game Department
It is part of the project to raise sockeye and Coho salmon runs in Resurrection Bay. Over four million young salmon of both species were released into this system in 2006.
4. Visiting this place
Seward Highway milepost 6.6.Turn east on Bear Lake Road. From here, the weir is just over a half mile ahead on the left. You have to park on the right (meaning south) side in the unpaved pull-out.
5. Helpful Hints
The Weir compound has a tight turnaround and a very limited parking. Only downstream there is a pull-out area adjacent to the creek.
To spot wildlife, think regarding patterns. Observe carefully and always make yourself familiar with the patterns of water, rocks, or vegetation, then be alert for subtle changes in those patterns which might indicate wildlife.
Scan the weir slowly, watching for any movement. Be alert for shapes which are just a little ‘out of place’ in the environment’s texture. Horizontal lines, like the line of the back of a moose, usually stand out among shadow in forests and patterns of vertical light. Colors can be clues as well; some animals, like black bears, are considerably darker or lighter than their normal surroundings.
Watch for different patterns on the water, as well. Glass -calm water is perfect for spotting various marine mammals, fish, and birds, but animal activity can be seen even in choppy water. Splashes and ripples on the surface are key signs of the wildlife movements. Note anything which disrupts the texture and pattern of the surface of the water. Watch for rings, dimples, or swells which designate underwater movement. Keep an eye out for any movement across the surface too, like the skimming flight of any murrelet.

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