Taylor Creek Bears

Every October a little bit of Alaska can be found at Taylor Creek. Taylor creek is a small creek on the south end of Lake Tahoe. It only runs a few miles between Fallen Leaf Lake and Tahoe but this time of year you can find a lot of action there.

Back in the 1940’s the non native Kokanee Salmon were introduced to Lake Tahoe and they thrived. Each autumn thousands of the bright red fish make their way up Taylor Creek to spawn and die. The native black bears, always a resourceful animal, have made eating the fish an important part of their preparation for their long winter sleep.
The bears are concentrating on fattening up and pay little attention to the people that gather to watch them. I made my first trip up there today and was lucky to have the opportunity to photograph this big mama bear and her cub.

I am aware of bear safety. These photos were taken with a telephoto lens from a safe distance. It was amazing to watch the bears fishing, foraging and going about their day as if they had the forest to themselves.

I think I will go back up next week. I heard that as the fish start to die in large numbers even more bears are apt to show up.

47 thoughts on “Taylor Creek Bears

      1. Thanks Dragon. I have seen bears before but from a car or the back of a horse. This was a new one for me and my heart was beating a bit fast at times. πŸ˜‰

  1. Alison, what gorgeous shots of the bears. I am sooooo jealous. The last time I saw some black bears was a few years back when I visited Smokey Mountains National Park. Then the park was over-run with tourists doing stupid things, like trying to get their children close enough to pet them. Boy, don’t get me started on that…… Anyway, I love your blog, and your glorious photography.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words about my photography Bob. Coming from you it means quite a lot. I have seen some foolish behavior around wild animals too. We should trade stories sometime. πŸ™‚

  2. Beautifully intimate portraits. How far off did you have to be for the bears to remain relaxed and carry on feeding? Just a bit envious.

    1. Thanks hares! I am not the greatest at estimating distance but I would say about 75 feet? I know this sounds close but I was not the closest. The bears made no signs of being stressed by that and I can assure you if they had I would have moved away.

  3. Love this! I noticed that the ‘closed’ sign was on the entrance yesterday and I didn’t really have a ton of time to stop but I would like to go back and take some photos myself. Did you just park on the main road and walk in?

    1. Hey thanks for stopping in and commenting Ginger. πŸ™‚ Yes, park anywhere close to the entrance and walk in. The rangers are not present and everyone else is going in at will in spite of the closure signs. The salmon viewing chamber is closed because of the park closure but the bears and citizens are all practicing civil disobedience. πŸ˜‰

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