San Luis Obispo County

Bear spotted by Lopez Lake visitors fishing in the area

Lopez Lake bear sighting

ARROYO GRANDE, Calif. - A large black bear was spotted walking along the shores of Lopez Lake before taking a brief swim. 

Michael Sawyer and a friend were fishing on the northwest side of the lake Monday afternoon when they noticed the bear. They believe it was a large male black bear, who took a brief swim before heading back to shore and taking off into the woods.

Sawyer and his friend recorded the bear on cell phone video. 

"It is just one of those things people should be aware of, keep their eyes out for," says Sawyer. 

The two friends watched the bear walk along the shoreline for more than five minutes before he walked in to the water to take a swim. 

"I was a little afraid he was going to swim towards us, I was a little concerned about that," says Sawyer. "We were yelling, whistling, trying to get the bears attention and scare him off, but he was not concerned about us at all. That's a little scary ahead of Memorial Day weekend."

The avid fisherman says he has seen a bear once before in 2015, but the one he spotted on Monday was much bigger. Campgrounds will be packed up and down the Central Coast for the long weekend holiday, and Kennedy has a simple message to outdoor enthusiasts.

"Be aware, keep your wits about, and you don't provoke them."

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