Alaska wildlife is a big draw for visitors to The Greatland, even compared to the number of people who visit Alaska for the incredible fishing. As fishermen we get the best of both worlds, enjoying and relaxing on the river while watching a moose stand knee deep in a slew chomping away at the tall grass. We get to remain safely in the boat while the mellow Bristol Bay brown bear pounces on the salmon swimming by. We get to watch the eagle perched high above the river watching us and all else, choosing the Nushagak for the healthy salmon abundance.
The Nushagak River in Alaska’s Bristol Bay is host to myriad indigenous Alaska wildlife including brown bear, moose, caribou, wolves, ox, hare, beaver and martin. In the nearby Nushagak Bay, a basin in Bristol Bay, you’ll see freshwater seals, Pacific walrus, and beluga whales that all seek habitat in this enriched region. While fishing on The Nush one can almost always spot bald eagles and moose sightings are common too. Fewer guests see a brown bear off in the distance on the same mission as us—to catch salmon. If birding is on your hobby list, you’ll love the near 200 species of birds, including 24 duck species, and the significance of world class seabird colonies to Alaska wildlife.
Red fox continue to hunt even after their tummies are full, saving their find for later under nearby brush. Photo courtesy of Sunyu.
Photographic opportunities on the Nushagak River abound and our guides are happy to ease in towards wildlife, making sure not to disturb them, for the chance to film and video memorialize beautiful game and birds.
Not only can you see a copious amount of wildlife on your trip to Nushagak River Adventures Lodge, you can also add on specialized wildlife viewing opportunities like a flight to the nearby McNeil River or Brooks River to watch concentrated groups of brown bear. Brown bears have a dished face, short, round ears, and a distinct shoulder hump. They have long claws on their front feet for digging. Brown bears, on average, weigh up to 700 pounds. The males are heavier and can weigh up to 1,700 pounds. Bears are omnivores who forage for berries, grass and roots, and they absolutely love salmon. They are also known to eat hoofed animals like moose and caribou. Bear viewing tours are all about timing. When the salmon are in the river, the bears are there. Watch their various fishing methods and dominance exercises while they congregate for the food source. Walrus viewing and other wildlife tours are also available to book with a couple of our recommended flight service providers on your trips to and from the lodge.
Watching wildlife in Alaska is like nothing you’ll see at home. It’s these poignant moments that mark the Greatland experience and you’ll know you are blessed when you get to watch eagles soar, moose trot, and bears take in their surroundings.
An average lifespan for a bald eagle is 20 years.
Brown bears are large and their fur ranges in color from very light tan (almost white) to dark brown.