The bears of Brooks River, like all bears that consume fish, utilize various fishing styles that we can observe on the live cams in both Brooks River and Naknek Lake.  Diving for fish is one of those various fishing styles.  Most bears don't appear to like to get their ears wet, so diving is not for every bear.  However there are some bears that will submerge completely underwater to obtain food resources.  

This BBC Earth video   discusses how the bears that don't seem to enjoy getting their ears wet can adapt to obtaining dead salmon on the bottom of a river or lake.    

An underwater view of the diving fishing technique can be seen at approximately 0:42 into this Discovery video.  (Thank you GoldilocksCanada for locating and sharing this amazing footage.)  One of the bears that utilize the Brooks River, 94, has been captured on the live cam, scroll down to 94 to see the amazing footage on the video by cam viewer and KNP&P visitor, Melissa Freels.  

This diving behavior is not exclusive to the bears that use the Brooks River.  This 8/20/2011 video by LadyBoss shows a bear at McNil River diving for fish.  Don't let the belly flops fool you, this bear goes completely underwater, rear paws up at approximately 0:42 into the video.

Captive bears also dive for fish.  This can be observed in this 11/13/2013 video by Brians Art for Animals of Axhi.  Axhi was born on Admiralty Island, Alaska.  Soon after the birth of Axhi and his brother, their mother was killed.  In 1995, after Axhi and his brother Jim became nuisance bears, they were offered a home in a zoo.  Jim does not dive, therefore, Axhi is able to capitalize on the sunken food resources due to his ability to dive for fish.  

The following Brooks Riveer bears have been observed diving for fish, a fairly rare fishing style:

1 Diver:

Probably the most famous bear known to dive for fish was the one that was nicknamed for being frequently observed utilizing that fishing style.  1 Diver was last observed at Brooks Camp in 2000.  In June one year before the sockeye salmon run began, Diver emerged from below the water with a beaver in his mouth.  1 Diver can be observed (year unknown) at approximately 4:03 into this video by Ray Wood diving in the jacuzzi.  


1992.09.19:  1 Diver can be observed at approximately 36:56 into this video by 1spooned diving in the lower Brooks River from the camp side below the floating bridge.  

1992 (?):

(1 Diver ? 1994 - approx 16:00 into this video ¬†St Mango found 2017.09.16¬†)

51 Diver, Jr.:

There is no known relation between 51 Diver Jr and 1 Diver, they are both just known to submerge themselves completely underwater to fish.  51 will dive in both the jacuzzi and Naknek Lake.  There are no known videos of 51 Diver Jr diving for fish at this time.  We continue to look for a way of sharing him being observed utilizing this fishing technique.  


2016: 94 (not 879) diving on September 12, 2016 in this video by Brenda D.

94 was captured diving for fish in the lower Brooks River by Melissa Freels on the underwater live cam on 09/15/2016.   94 diving with her 3 cubs swimming video by Linda Jett on October 2, 2018.  At the beginning, she dives...but, is mostly of screen. At 1:45 she is clearly seen diving to the bottom....with her three cubs swimming at the surface.


273 has been observed diving in both Brooks River and Naknek Lake..  


JoeBear captured this 8/21/2015 video  of 273 diving for fish in the lower Brooks River just off the corner.  



289 can be observed diving for fish in the lower Brooks River while being courted by 856 on 07/09/2016 in this video by Ratna.


402 will dive in the jacuzzi at Brooks Falls, in the lower Brooks River, and in Naknek Lake

2019:  On 7/21/2019, 402 can be seen making a brief dive in the jacuzzi , video by Lani H.

402 and her cubs are seen on the underwater cam on 7/23/2019. 402 can be seen making a brief dive to retrieve a fish on the river bottom, video by mckate.

402 was seen diving in the jacuzzi on 9/21/2019, GIF by GABear. Lani H also captured 402 diving in this 9/21/2019 video.

402 is seen diving in the jacuzzi and coming back up in these two GIFS by GABear on 9/22/2019. 402's 3 yearlings are seen behind her.

402 is viewed making multiple dives in the jacuzzi and catching a fish on 9/25/2019, video by Lani H .

On 10/2/2019 402 is again observed submerging her head and making multiple dives in the jacuzzi, video by Lani H.

Subadult 812 approaches and enters the jacuzzi when his Mother 402 (speculated) is seen surfacing after a fairly long dive, video by mckate, 10/4/2019.

402 is seen diving in the jacuzzi and resurfacing in 2 GIFS by GABear on 10/16/2019.

2018: On 7/25/18, 402 brought her 4 spring cubs to Brooks Falls. The 4 cubs can be seen sitting on the bank watching Mom diving in the jacuzzi, video by Lani H from the Brooks Falls low cam. In a 2nd Lani H video from the high cam, 402 is seen diving at 0:07 and 0:40.

402 brought her 4 cubs to the falls again on 7/31/18. While the cubs sit below the Falls platform, 402 wades into the river and dives into the jacuzzi, emerging with a fish. The cam pans back to her cubs who wait on the bank until Mom finishes consuming her salmon off camera (0:13-1:40).

A 9/18/18 video by Lani H shows 402 making multiple dives on the lower river while her cubs sit on the bank eating fish scraps. These dives can be seen at 1:42, 2:17, 3:00 and 3:20.

On 9/25/18, 402 is seen diving in the Jacuzzi area while her cubs are out of the frame. Video by Martina.


402 diving and snorkling at BF September 25, 2017, videos by st mango,#1 and #2.

402 diving at BF video by BrendaD 9/25/2017

806 is fishing the lip with 503 in the jacuzzi below. 402 (503's speculated Mom) wants to dive for fish but 503 is in her way, a minor squabble ensues. 402 is then seen submerging most of her body from 0:48-1:02, video by 12gizmo16, 9/26/2017.

402 diving at BF, 10/5/17, video by lee pastewka.


402 can be observed diving for fish in the jacuzzi below Brooks Falls in this 07/18/2016 video by st mango

402 dives for fish in the jacuzzi multiple times in this 10/14/2016 video by Martina that also shows 402's two yearlings and 719 (435 Holly's 2.5 year old newly emancipated subadult) in close proximity to the 402 family group.  Melissa Freels also created this extended video of the time frame on 10/14/2016.  

402 and her yearling are in the boat cove while 94's yearling is resting on the spit.  Martina captures this 10/15/2016 video of 402 diving in the boat cove


Juergen's 7/12/2015 gif of 402 diving in the jacuzzi .

Martina's video captures 402 diving on 9/13/15 in the lower Brooks River just off the point while her 4 spring cubs follow on shore.  

83 Wayne Brother has a front row seat as 402 does some jacuzzi diving in this 9/26/15 video by BirdyGirly and this 9/26/15 video by Martina .

402 dives for fish in the jacuzzi in this 10/4/2015 video by JoeBear and then her 4 spring cubs come to meet her near the island down river of Brooks Falls. 

402 can be observed diving for fish in the jacuzzi on 10/6/2015 by viewing Juergen's gif that also shows the 4 spring cubs in the current of the river.  


At approximately 1:37 into this video by Donna T. Bennett 402 is the bear diving in Naknek Lake.  Interestingly, yearling 503 Cubadult is on the spit with his adoptive family, 435 Holly and her biological female cub 719.  402 is 503's biological mother.   

403 Egberta:

403 Egberta and her sibling 402 share this faily rare fishing technique.  There are no ranger confirmed photos or videos of 403 Egberta diving at this time.  


It is possible that 403 Egberta can be observed diving in the jacuzzi in this 2007 video by maxventuri.  We are attempting to obtain ranger confirmation to ID the diving bear in this video.  

435 Holly:


This 7/26/18 video of a diving bear is believed to be 435, video by Lani H.

On 9/6/18, 435 Holly was observed snorkeling near the lower river bridge/underwater camera. She can be observed diving to the river floor and retrieving a fish, video by Lani H. Her cubs are also seen swimming on the underwater camera.

A 9/25/18 video by Lani H shows 435 Holly diving by the floating bridge. She appears to have retrieved a fish scrap in her mouth.



This July 21, 2017 Explore Recorder video includes 603 fishing the jacuzzi.  At approximately 31:40 into the video, 603 submerges completely underwater (diving) and catches a fish in the jacuzzi.  He then brings his catch to the South bank to eat it and returns to the jacuzzi to continue fishing.:

813 Nostril Bear:


One of the times 813 Nostril Bear was observeed diving for fish was on 09/15/2014 in the upper section of the lower Brooks River while her 3 spring cubs waited on shore near the grassy knoll:  DTB's video of that observation .  Has 813 created her own unique spin-off of diving...Submarining? 

854 Divot:


854 DIvot can be seen diving completely underwater to secure a fish from 0:56 - 3:07 in this 2011 video published on 10/22/2019 by Travel Adventure.:

Alaska 2011 version 2 by Travel Adventure-0

Alaska 2011 version 2 by Travel Adventure-0

Unidentified Bears:


An unidentified bear was observed by the lower platform dunking and submerging itself numerous times before finally coming up with a fish. Amalia Garduno published this video on 9/5/16.


An unidentified bear was seen diving on the underwater cam located on the lower bridge on 7/30/18, video by Cloud. The bear can be seen taking a breath and then diving straight to the bottom of the river where it retrieves a fish.

An unidentified subadult was observed on the lower river cam snorkeling and appearing to shallow dive/submerge on 8/21/18, video by Lani H. This behavior can be observed at 1:14 and especially at 3:19 where the subadult catches a fish on the 3rd attempt.

On 8/29/18, a subadult (possibly one of 284's emancipated 2.5 year olds) is seen on the lower river repeatedly diving for salmon. At 1:19 you will observe the subadult make 6 attempts before finally catching a salmon, after being submerged for 8 seconds. 8/29/18 video by Lani H.

On 8/31/18, a subadult is seen on two different occasions diving on the lower river camera. Is this the same subadult that has been seen on 8/21 and 8/29? Lani H captured the action here and here, 8/31/18.

The subadult diving bear was observed again making multiple dives by the point before catching a fish. Video by Lani H, 9/1/18.

An unidentified subadult was seen on 9/15/18 diving for fish near the lower river bridge. The fish was apparently not fresh enough and was dropped, 9/15/18 video by Lani H.

A 9/16/18 video by Lani H captures an unidentified subadult snorkeling in the lower river. The subadult dives twice (1:00 and 1:29) catching a satisfactory fish on the 2nd dive.

An unidentified diving bear was captured by Lani H on 9/25/18.

An unidentified bear is seen catching a spawned out salmon on 9/27/18, video by Lani H.

Lani H captured an unidentified subadult diving on the underwater cam on 9/28/18.

An unkown subadult was observed diving on the lower river, 10/6/18 video by Erie. The dives can be seen at 3:20 and 4:03.

The same unknown subadult as seen on 10/6/18 was captured again on 10/7/18 by Lani H. This subadult may be the female blonde subadult of 284.


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