Orca Network 

Whale Sighting Report  

In This Issue
Southern Residents.
Transients/Bigg's Killer Whales
Humpback whales
Pacific white-sided dolphins
Orca Network recommends:
The Lost Whale, by Michael Parfit and Suzanne Chisolm  
An intensely personal story...but this person is a young orca.  

Lost Whale book...ver scaled  

 To learn more about orcas: 

Orcas in Our Midst, volume 3, by Howard Garrett

Orcas in Our Midst,

Vol. 3: Residents and Transients, How Did That Happen?

Click here  

to order YOUR copy!


The bestseller about orcas in captivity.

Death at SeaWorld, by David Kirby 


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orca Lolita/Tokitae,

captured in Penn Cove,

Whidbey Island, WA

in 1970, somehow surviving in a small tank at the Miami Seaquarium ever since.

Tokitae looking up at us from her tank in Miami, FL in the late 1990s 

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November 11, 2014

We are watching and visiting the whales in their home~

Please observe, love and respect them from a distance.

Having trouble viewing this Sightings Report? Archived Reports can be found HERE.
Until the L12 subpod showed up briefly Nov. 10 off San Juan Island on their way to the open ocean, the few scattered reports since the last sightings report Nov. 2 were probably Transients/Bigg's whales.

Humpbacks have continued showing up all over the Salish Sea. One humpback even toured Elliot Bay Nov. 5.

Southern Residents have probably been foraging a few miles offshore along the continental shelf between California and SE Alaska, especially near the mouth of the Columbia River, intercepting Chinook salmon headed upriver to spawn. A record (since 1938 when the first dams were built) number of Chinook and other salmon species are now in river or heading toward the Columbia, in large part due to increased spill over the dams, ordered by federal courts since 2006, to help juvenile salmon make it to the sea, along with a variety of salmon restoration projects and favorable ocean conditions. We can't expect even those numbers to continue every year.

Before dams were built throughout the Columbia watershed, 10-16 million wild salmon and steelhead used to return to the Columbia/Snake river basins each year. Now (2002-2011 average) we see about 1.3 million hatchery fish and about 320,000 wild fish return each year, roughly 10% of their former numbers. That's not enough fish to provide sufficient Chinook to allow Southern Resident orcas to remain healthy.

This past weekend at the Friday Harbor Documentary Film Festival, three films were screened that directly address the salmon shortage stressing Southern Residents. First was Fragile Waters, produced by Orca Network, which details the dire situation this family of orcas are in now. Next was Return of the River, the highly encouraging story of the 20-year struggle to dismantle the Elwha dams. Third was DamNation, which is more than an inspiring story about dam removal; it's a call to action. As part of the film's distribution throughout the United States, signatures are being collected for a petition to President Obama and other key elected leaders calling for removal of the four low-value, high-cost lower Snake River dams that inflict an extreme toll on endangered salmon and the communities, both human and orca, that depend on them. Please sign the petition and add your support the mounting momentum to remove these dams: Please sign the petition to crack down on deadbeat dams.

Not many spaces left on our 2015 Baja Gray Whale Trip - an experience you will never forget!
Dates: March 3 - 7, 2015. COST: $2950 includes travel from and back to San Diego, to San Ignacio Lagoon, 2 whale watch trips per day for the 3 full days at camp, all meals, and more.
If you are considering joining us on this year's trip, please contact Orca Network.

 Thanks for caring about the orcas and other whales and marine life of the Salish Sea.

Howard Garrett and Susan Berta, Orca Network
Photo of the Day
November 4
Humpbacks near Kelp Reef, Haro Strait.
Photo by Mark Malleson, Prince of Whales.
Southern Residents
October 10
I live for these days! Jeanne Hyde calls at 10:30. Orcas in Haro Strait. We leave at noon. No Orcas. A sail boat near Discovery Island, BC. I stop and chat. Whales? Yep, over by Beaumont Shoals, the sail boat captain says. We head there. Yep, over by Beaumont Shoals! We are thinking Ts. Nope. The L12s. All present and accounted for, including Big Daddy, L41 Mega. We never got close to him, but he was there. Here are some scenes from today.
Capt. Jim Maya

November 10

November 10

November 10
We sailed with 8-10 orcas from Discovery Island to Trial Island at about 5:30 pm as the sun was setting. They were outbound when we left them. Epic.
Keith Provan
Transients/Bigg's Whales
November 10
T123A in the Juan de Fuca. I came across the T123's west bound
south of Race Rocks in the morning.

Mark Malleson, Prince of Whales

November 7
I came across the T123's late morning east bound off of Sooke.  In the afternoon the T046C's turned up mid Juan de Fuca Strait south west of Race Rocks.  I left them westbound south of Sooke late afternoon and watched the T123's pass by the entrance to Victoria harbour at sunset traveling  north east bound for Trial Island.
Mark Malleson, Prince of Whales

November 7
T123A east bound past Sooke Point development.
Mark Malleson, Prince of Whales

November 7
T046C's west bound south of East Sooke Park.
Mark Malleson, Prince of Whales

November 7
Three transients west of Race Rocks via Tom Mitchell.
Josh McInnes

November 5
3:30pm - traveling north up Rosario Strait. sighted from land from Sinclair Island.
Kenneth Bothman

November 4
Maia of WA State Ferries reported a pod of 5 - 10 whales off Pt Caution, NW of Friday Harbor, at approximately 10:30 am this morning.

November 3
Sighting of a single Orca off Sierra on the west coast of Whidbey Island. At approximately 11:35 am on 11/3 directly out of our window which faces NW from Sierra (near Coupeville, west side of Whidbey Island). We live on the bluff. It was heading South toward Partridge Point. I only saw it 2x's during its journey. I had to use the binoculars to identify it, but initially I saw some white like a spray and then grabbed the glasses to see it break the water. Initially heading NW and the next time SW from our home.
Rosemary Denson
Humpback whales
November 8
Here are three photos taken by Chris Hamilton, while the whale was in South Sound.  Budd Inlet and then heading north past Johnson Point. It looks skinny to me...and it looks like there is a scar or something along its spine in the second image??????
Kim Merriman

November 8
Photo by Chris Hamilton

November 8
Photo by Chris Hamilton

November 8
Photo by Chris Hamilton

November 7
I saw 6  humpback whales.  There was a group of 3 south of Bechey Head heading west and  a mother and calf  east bound near Trial Island which  passed by BCY0409 heading west.
All 6 humpbacks seen have been spotted throughout the area over the last few months.
Mark Malleson, Prince of Whales

November 7
BCY0409 ("YOGI")  south of Trial Island.
Photo by Mark Malleson, Prince of Whales

November 7
I saw 1 whale today at 3:15 near Lobster Shop in Tacoma. All I know for sure is it wasn't an orca :). I have a short video but can't see a way to upload it.
Tiffany Russell

November 7
10 am - Humpback - President Pt Rd NE - Kingston Wa, traveling north - my first sighting of a humpback.
Margaret Steen

November 6
Today at ~12:05 pm I saw a humpback (?) in front of our house (we live in a neighborhood above Shenanigan's in Tacoma) slapping it's fluke on the surface. It stayed in the same place for ~5 min. displaying this behavior, then a small white boat approached from the west. The boat stopped to observe from a distance. The whale then left the surface of the water and headed west - towards Point Defiance.
Then it started to rain so hard I completely lost sight of it (& Puget Sound!)
Mollie Heilesen

Photo by Mollie Heilesen

November 6
7:30am - Humpback in Burien out from Seahurst park.
Heather Aquino

November 5
4:45pm - Humpback sighting off Duwamish head. Very cool. Took the girls down to see their very first humpback whale.
Photo by Wade Harper

November 5
4:35pm from the (still docked) Bainbridge ferry. A large whale  passed in front of the boat, then spouted and fluked (no discernable markings other than dark overall hue) by the ferris wheel, then sped away toward West Point into the darkening rain. Those who saw it couldn't agree on the species, but it seemed like a Humpback to me.  
James Rufo Hill

November 5
3:13 - Still surfacing every 5 mins or so. I'm at Alki point.
At 1450 it's right at the mouth of Elliott Bay breaching every few minutes since 1410.
Alicia Toney

November 5
3:11 - It was headding into Elliott bay as of five mins ago in front of the old grain mill.
Cailey Dullum

November 5
John Rogstad of WA State Ferries called at 2:17 to report what they thought was a gray whale, but was the humpback reported above, off Alki - great that ferry riders are getting to see it too!

November 5
1:59 - Now it's over by the Elliott Bay Marina, heading in toward the Seattle Waterfront.
Stephanie Raymond

November 5
Stephanie Raymond called at 1:20 pm to report one humpback whale off Me-Kwa-Mooks Park, south of Alki Pt, Seattle, heading north very close to shore! Great time to get out for some shore-based whale watching in Seattle - to see the best places to watch for whales, go to our Whale Sighting Viewpoints map!

November 5
10:40 - Humpbacks in San Juan Ch. and near Speiden Is. right now.
James Mead Maya

November 4
9:35 - Picking up faint Humpback vocals on Orca Live hydrophone.
Josh McInnes

November 3
At 9am outside Hat Island Marina, saw a blow & tail flip a couple times. Not close enough to see a positive identification (this was believed to be a humpback). Headed NW around Hat Island.
Barbara Conwell
Gray whales
November 3
3 days in a row, gray whales (2) have been working the kelp 1 mile west of Sekiu river.
Bruce Reddish
Orca Network is a 501 c3 nonprofit organization, dedicated to raising awareness about the whales of the Pacific Northwest, and the importance of providing them healthy and safe habitats.

Orca Network's Whale Sighting Network involves citizens in helping researchers track the movement of whales, and encourages people to observe whales from their homes, businesses, ferries, and beaches.
Whale reports are sent in to our Sighting Network and emailed out to researchers, agencies, and citizens on our network, and posted on our website (MAP of sightings also on website). Whale reports and observations are sent in by a variety of sources, and Orca Network does not guarantee the accuracy of any report or whale identification.


TO REPORT WHALES, CALL: 1-866-ORCANET (1-866-672-2638), email, or post sightings on our Orca Network Facebook page.



 "The new rules prohibit vessels from approaching any killer whale closer than 200 yards and forbid vessels from intercepting a whale or positioning the vessel in its path. This doubles the current approach distance of 100 yards. The rules go into effect May 16 and apply to all types of boats, including motor boats, sail boats and kayaks, in Washington"


For more information on the new Federal Regulations, visit the NOAA Fisheries website


To report harassment of whales in US waters
, call NOAA Enforcement: 1-800-853-1964;

In Canadian waters, call DFO's Observe Record and Report (ORR) Violations Hotline: 1-800- 465-4336

Report the boat name &/or a description of the boat, & get photos if at all possible.