High water in Brooks River prompts partial closure in Katmai so bears can fish

Jul 14, 2021

Bears have a harder time fishing in deep waters of the Brooks River, and the park's partial closure will give bears unhindered access to shallower waters. 

A bear at Brooks Falls. August 2019.
Credit Izzy Ross/KDLG

Katmai National Park and Preserve issued a temporary closure for a portion of Brooks River to allow the brown bears more access to the fishing grounds. 

 

In an announcement, Park Superintendent Mark Sturm said the water levels in the Brooks River have been unusually high this year, and the bears have a harder time fishing in deep waters. This closure will give bears unhindered access to shallower waters. 

 

The area is typically open to anglers, photographers, and tourists. Bears are most successful with their fishing without the interference or presence of humans. Leaving these waters open to humans could dissuade bears from fishing there. 

The closure went into effect Tuesday afternoon and ends at 3 p.m. on Friday, though park officials may extend it. Park staff will also use the time as an opportunity to further study the bears’ eating habits, and how the closure affects them. 

Sport fishing remains open throughout other areas of the Brooks river, including above the falls. 

 

Contact the author at mackenzie@kdlg.org or 907-842-2200.