Alaska Department of Fish and Game is asking anglers
and other recreationists around the Russian River to
be aware of bears.
At least one and potentially more brown bears have made
a presence in the area.
" A young brown bear, likely a 3-year-old bear, has been
getting bold," said Thomas McDonough, an assistant
area biologist with Fish and Game.
The bear has been snatching stringers of fish, back packs
and also reportedly shook one RV in the campground," he
McDonough and other Fish and Game personnel made a
trip up to Cooper Landing to investigate the scene earlier
this week. They didn't get a glimpse of the bear but
based on what they did find, McDonough said it wasn't
a surprise the bruin was hanging around.
We counted more than 20 fully accessible coolers outside
of RVs. We also saw people fishing down in the water
and leaving their backpacks up on the high bank," McDonough
In addition to leaving food items left strewn about,
the care and cleaning of fish caught in the area also
has been less than ideal.
It's not a good situation to have this bear keep getting
food rewards," McDonough said.
McDonough said relocating the bear has been discussed
but it would it be challenging due to the logistics
and safely darting the animal in such a heavily people-populated
area as the Russian River.
Also, it's not going to fix the problem," McDonough
Since there are many bears in that area, removing
one just makes room for another to move on in. It's
a problem of the bears being there, but rather them
easy access to food rewards as a result of irresponsible
human behavior, he said.
We're hoping an educational effort will eliminate the
problem," McDonough said. To that end, Fish
and Game has released a list of safety tips to help
the risk of having a negative interaction with bears
in the area.
- Avoid getting "tunnel vision" while fishing
or hiking. Be aware of your surroundings at all times.
Make plenty of noise while hiking to and from the fishing
area and try to travel in a group.
- Do not leave fish or food unattended at any time.
- If approached by a bear, stop fishing and gather
up your fish and other belongings. Stand your ground.
not surrender food or fish to a bear. Instead, be
prepared to throw fish into the current and away
from the bear
- If you have a fish on your line and a bear approaches
you, be prepared to cut your line.
- When cleaning your catch, cut carcasses into several
small pieces and throw them into the main current.
Rinse down the cleaning station. Carcasses attract
- Fishing after the last ferry runs is not advisable.
Bears can be more active at this time and the low
light conditions can hinder your ability to see bears
their ability to see you.
- Remember that bears are wild animals. Maintain
adequate distance and respect a bear's "personal