The Churchill River remains unfrozen due to the reoccurring southerly winds that have maneuvered the Hudson Bay pack ice in and out of the Churchill coast. This constant shifting at just the right times has left the Churchill River in a state of flux. Unfrozen water flows in and out of the mouth of the river, a not so unusual and the coast out at Cape Churchill, traditionally the final jump off location for polar bears, is still just scattered ice floes.
Even with the current ice conditions, the vast majority of polar bears in the area are floating on ice and hunting seals. Manitoba Conservation released all bears from the holding facility around the 25th of November and a few stragglers have been sighted around Churchill as evidenced by bear traps just outside some housing facilities.This is not completely uncommon for the odd bear to still be around though lack of consistent ice in the bay has enabled some bears to remain on land until the pack ice returns.
This El Nino year has provided some unusual affects in Churchill. Before long the cold winter will set in and we all will be preparing for another phenomenal northern lights season beginning in late January. Stay tuned for the latest new from Churchill!