VALIER – It’s not every day you see two grizzly bears and it’s certainly not every day you see two grizzly bears swimming in a lake.
That’s exactly what people fishing on Lake Frances in Valier witnessed Saturday.
Chelsea Alfson shared a video to Facebook showing two grizzlies sparring in the lake, which is known for its walleye and northern pike.
“They didn’t want anything to do with us, just kept swimming. When we drove away we continued watching them through binoculars and they swam all the way to the other shore,” she said.
Alfson said the bears were probably about 300 yards from shore.
“We checked the depth on our fish finder out there and the water was 27 feet deep where they were,” she added.
Reports from residents indicate the grizzlies have been in the area for a while. The grizzlies are not the only bears making headlines out of Valier.
Two grizzlies, an old female and a yearling, were relocated from the Rocky Mountain Front to the North Fork of the Flathead drainage Friday after killing livestock in the lower Dupuyer Creek area.
The removal of the grizzlies from the Dupuyer Creek area comes after two grizzlies were euthanized for killing livestock.
A young, male grizzly was euthanized in the Sun River Valley on May 1 after killing several calves while a sub-adult male grizzly was put down in the Helmville Valley in late April for its involvement in livestock depredations.
FWP also recently released information concerning a grizzly bear that was shot and killed by a landowner west of Augusta on April 13.
Montana FWP Prairie Bear Monitor warned people in the Marias River area near the Interstate 15 bridge about bear activity.
Shelby’s Marias Valley Golf Course is in the vicinity. Wildlife officials continue to remind landowners and recreationists to be bear aware as grizzlies are out of their dens along the Rocky Mountain Front.
They advised removing or securing attractants such as livestock feed, bird feeders, pet food, garbage, spilled grain and livestock carcasses.