Do Harbor Seals Eat Big fish?

So, do they?

When I first started watching for the big fish during the fish run times, I watched a lot of seal hunting, mainly in the Monte Rio area, up to the Vacation Beach dam area and down to the Cassini Ranch area. Salmon start coming in, in September, or a bit before and continue until December. Steelhead start in December and continue until April, with some over lapping of both species, at least this is how I understand it. I didn’t know much about all this stuff when I first started, but I went down there almost everyday for five years watching and learned. I talked to people on the river and talked to fishermen along the river and just watched the river as it put on a show for me. I took pictures when I could, but found catching this action for a picture wasn’t easy, as things moved very fast and the best stuff happened a lot when I was waiting for my camera to process the last pic. But, I did get a few good ones.

Let’s start with some seal pictures

We’ll start with some pictures of some of the seals seen at Monte Rio and the Jenner area. I know a couple of the seals, but most of them, I can’t tell apart, yet. I’ve been paddling my kayak around them for about ten years now, so I think they might just know be better then I know them. A friend wanted more pics, so here you are.

Harbor seals laying on the beach at the mouth of the Russian River.



This is my buddy, It’s always popping up around me somewhere.



Another fairly friendly guy, who hangs out up the river above Highway 1 bridge.



Cute seal, was sleeping up above Monte Rio.



A big yawn.



Nice looking seals, unless you are a fish.

I saw some furious battles for fish, very exciting to watch seals hunt fish and catch them and play or fight over them.

This big guy, I think a salmon, is being thrown by a seal. I’m pretty sure the fish is dead.

flying salmon





Fish on.



When they get down to the tail, they seem to like to play with it.



It was a good fishing year for the seals.



These speak for themselves.



This is a big steelhead. Now, I think I might know why they call them steel heads. I’m not sure what got this guy, he was headed back to the ocean, just above Cassini’s Ranch.



It Wasn’t me?




Yes, harbor seals eat big fish

I think the photos speak for themselves. It’s easy to tell what otters eat, because they have to come to the surface to eat what they catch, but seals can eat what they catch underwater and they do, most of the time and most of what they eat, I can’t be real sure of, but they can and do eat big fish when the fish run up the river.Can you blame them?

That’s it for this post, I did find that if I cut and paste a pic, it loses it size, so I know to just drag them for the next one. I think I have the comments turned on, but we’ll see once this is posted.

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