It’s time for fans of Katmai’s big brown bruins to tune in once again: the park’s bear cams are on for the season.
Katmai National Park and Preserve has become famous as the home of Fat Bear Week, an annual tongue-in-cheek social media competition to see which of the park’s brown bears can put on the most winter weight. In order to pack on the pounds to claim the crown—and survive the winter—the bears spend innumerable hours fishing the park’s salmon run, particularly at Brooks Falls, where a boardwalk allows visitors to spot bruins in person and a webcam operated by Explore.org allows everyone else to watch virtually. Regular viewers get to know the yearly visitors, including last year’s champ 747 and multiple winner Otis.
As of press time, the river is relatively empty, with the camera feeds showing mostly just empty river. But if you’re a fan of the bears, keep checking: July is prime time for Brooks Falls, so the fishing holes should fill up soon.