The Bear Experience

As our days in Kamchatka come to and end, the last two weeks have been filled with extraordinary wildlife experiences.  From the salmon to the bears, Kamchatka has shared with us moments that we will hold onto for a lifetime.  The team has just returned from Kuril Lake, where Bryan worked on loads of underwater salmon footage for In Focus Asia and the rest of the team collected data for Dr. Nicholas Zegre.  We had more daily encounters with bears than we will probably ever have again in our lives.  

Kuril Lake is clearly one of Kamchatka’s gems.  It is the largest Sockeye salmon spawning ground in Eurasia and brown bears outnumber humans by a long shot.  This leg of the trip gave us a chance to explore more by foot than by water and also allowed us to see how conservation measures can be successful in Kamchatka. The Pacific Research Institute of Fisheries and Oceanography runs a bio station that focuses on counting the number of Sockeye returning from the ocean each year.  Kuril Lake is also a national wildlife preserve, a national monument and Unesco World Heritage site.  As we pack our bags for the return trip home, there is a bittersweet feeling of being some of the luckiest people on the planet and our passion for Kamchatka is as strong as ever.