Wolves of B.C. Coast prefer salmon over deer

Wolves prefer fishing to hunting. It is easier for the wolves to catch salmon than track deer. BBC News.

“Wolves in western Canada prefer to fish for salmon when it is in season rather than hunt deer or other wild game, researchers have found.”

Easier? Why I thought wolves from Canada were killing machines that took down anything — the bigger the better.






  1. Maska Avatar

    There’s a really gorgeous book and DVD on the salmon-eating wolves of British Columbia called The Last Wild Wolves, Ghosts of the Rain Forest. The author is Ian McAllister. It’s from U. of California Press–ISBN 978-0-520-25473-2. The photos are wonderful, and the accounts of low tech research methods (no radio collars) are worth pondering. I heartily recommend it.

  2. john weis Avatar
    john weis

    This is the perfect solution for getting wolves into Utah. We just need some salmon runs up from the Great Salt Lake!

  3. John Avatar

    Interesting, I’ve seen one of those documentaries, something to do with a ‘ghost bear’ (white grizzlies), it mentioned grey wolves eating salmon brains and leaving carrion for bears.

    “Easier? Why I thought wolves from Canada were killing machines that took down anything — the bigger the better”

    According to a lovely little article I found (ref. Wolf Song Alaska) on Wolf Management in Canada, trappers from areas like Alberta and British Columbia are taught to kill the healthy wolves (because their pelts sell for higher prices) and leave the old/injured/mangy ones.

  4. Mike Post Avatar
    Mike Post

    Take a look at Nootka Island on the west coast of Vancouver Island. Wolves there have extripated the deer on that island and learned to hunt the seals and sea lions. They watch the beach for sunning marine mammals and then launch a pincer movement to cut off the seaward escape. What was that about the “mother of invention”???

  5. Mike Post Avatar
    Mike Post

    John, the “ghost bear” is a black bear, not a brown, and it is the bears who eat the brain and the roe and leave the flesh for…wolves/eagles/etc…

  6. John Avatar

    I stand corrected.

  7. vicki Avatar

    I have seen coyotes fih before, in small drainages that fish get stuck in. Pretty cool, but wolves would be awesome to see do it!

  8. dbaileyhill Avatar

    The book that Maska mentioned is incredible!

  9. Larry Thorngren Avatar

    The first wolf I saw in the wild was on the McNeil River in Alaska more than 20 years ago. I watched it steal a salmon from a large Brown Bear.

  10. Layton Avatar

    There’s a parasite that affects (as I understand it) canines that is carried by anadramous fish — doesn’t it affect wolves?

    I know it can kill a dog.

  11. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears

    If I remember correctly, the bear is actually called the spirit bear, I have read a couple of articles about them as saw a couple of shows about them as well..

  12. JEFF E Avatar
    JEFF E

    National Geographic ran a story about these bears some years ago. they run from cinnamon to a dirty blond and apparently only occur in a small area in BC close to the ocean.

  13. JEFF E Avatar
    JEFF E

    this looks like a good place for this


Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan’s Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of “Hiking Idaho.” He also wrote “Beyond the Tetons” and “Backpacking Wyoming’s Teton and Washakie Wilderness.” He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

Subscribe to get new posts right in your Inbox

Ralph Maughan