If you have fish a bear wants, ditch them out in the river

The reds are coming in, which means people will be coming in.

Sunday by the Russian River ferry a guy has some fish he caught. Here come a sow and two cubs walking toward him. People are screaming at him to toss his fish in the water; he refuses and keeps on walking. By now he is in the midst of people and kids with his fish. Finally, when the bear gets within a few feet of him, he drops the fish. He just reinforced to the bears that people will give you their fish. Next encounter could be fatal. It's a good chance this sow and her cubs will be put down because they have done this many times and have been rewarded.

Heads up to everyone: If a bear approaches and you have fish, cut your stringer or toss them as far as you can in the rapids. Don't drop them on the ground; that's the same thing as feeding them. Make sure all backpacks and coolers are within your reach. I am a volunteer for Streamwatch and we are doing our best to teach people. Thank you.

Mary West