The Pacific Catalyst II, a small adventure charter yacht based in Friday Harbor Washington, received official notification from the United States Forest Service that they had been selected to be among a small number of commercial guide services to be granted high-season access to the Pack Creek Zoological Area. This protected watershed area on SE Alaska’s Admiralty Island, is the home to one of the largest concentrations of Brown Bears in the world. During the high season, which extends from July 5th through August 25th, Brown Bears gather to feed on spawning salmon returning to Pack Creek. Pack Creek has the smallest allowable number of visitors, no more than 12 guided people are allowed in the Reserve at any time. Given that there are two bear viewing areas available within the Zoological Area, it is guaranteed that visitors will have the most intimate and personal bear experience possible.
Pacific Catalyst has been coming to the Pack Creek Zoological Area during the shoulder season for several years, and had sought high season access in order to provide their clients the best possible bear viewing while
at the same time protecting bears living outside the Preserve from further human habitualization. It is their belief that approaching bears, even for the purposes of photography, increases their acceptance of human presence, and thus makes them more vulnerable to boat-based trophy hunters. They have seen several butchered bear carcasses in areas where they had previously spent time showing their clients the estuary environment and photographing bears, and
had decided for that reason to curtail their bear viewing activities.
The opportunity to have access to an area where Brown Bears have spent several generations being exposed to humans, and where hunting is banned, was the perfect solution to the problem of how to introduce their clients to the bear ecosystem without endangering the bears.
All Pacific Catalyst cruises in the Stephen’s Passage area will include a visit to Pack Creek beginning in 2012. Contact AdventureSmith Explorations to book your 2012 cruise aboard the Pacific Catalyst.