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Spotlight: Sockeye Salmon Return to Steep Creek

Spotlight: Sockeye Salmon Return to Steep Creek

Watch the action live on the Steep Creek web cam

What You’ll Find

A first-hand look as sockeye salmon navigate the often treacherous waters of Steep Creek in Alaska’s Tongass National Forest. Forest Service fisheries biologists have placed a live streaming video camera in Steep Creek allowing virtual visitors to witness the spawning sockeye salmon as they return to the place of their birth. Along with the salmon, black bears come to feed on the nutritious fish, readying for winter.

Getting There

The Steep Creek Fish Viewing area is located approximately 10 miles from downtown Juneau, Alaska, near Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center.

Stay Here

Enjoy an evening around the campfire at Mendenhall Campground – surrounded by dramatic peaks and a view of mesmerizing Mendenhall Glacier. Advanced reservations are available with campsites suitable for tents and RVs and even a walk-to backpacker area.

Make Sure You

Visit the underwater live web cam often. With upwards of 4,000 fish in any given year, keep your eyes peeled for a bear paw or two!

Opportunities abound throughout Alaska and the continental U.S. to view bears in their natural environment. If you’re planning a trip to Alaska and the Tongass National Forest, please be bear aware – fish attract bears.

Don’t Forget

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game website offers a description and illustration of the salmon life cycle. Discover the dramatic story of this annual migration as the fish return to where they hatched, select a mate, spawn and die. Yet, the cycle continues as their decomposing bodies provide nutrients for streambank vegetation and insects that in turn will become a food source for the young salmon.

Try This

A stop at the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center is a must. Hosting more than 400,000 visitors a year, the center offers interpretive programs, an exhibit gallery and a new film illustrating how the Mendenhall glacier moves and shapes the valley ecosystem.

Can’t make it to the visitor center? Learn more about the Mendenhall Glacier, view the glacier cam, or watch the Eric the Erratic movie on the Tongass National Forest website.

Get Started

From about mid-July to the end of August, check the live web cam for sockeye salmon and the possibility of a bear hunting for his next meal! Join the conversation too – Pete Schneider, a fisheries biologist on the Tongass National Forest, checks-in often to answer questions and give updates.