Orca Network 

Whale Sighting Report  

In This Issue
Upcoming Events
Photo of the Day
Southern Residents
Coastal Killer whales
Humpback whales
Gray whales
Minke whales
Upcoming Events:
June is Orca Month

Please join us for our first Orca Month day-long workshop!

Saturday June 18th Orcas in Our Midst Workshop - Langley

see details & other events at

Orca Month Website

Visit Orca Network's

115 Anthes Ave
Whidbey Island

Thurs - Sun 11 - 5

Displays, videos, gift shop, lending library
To support our ongoing education and outreach projects you can donate directly to:

Orca Network's
Go Fund Me Fundraiser
Orca Network recommends:
Puget Sound Whales for Sale: The Fight to End Orca Hunting, by
Sandra Pollard
This important volume recounts the people whose determined efforts ultimately succeeded in ending the captures.


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!



  David Kirby  

The bestseller about orcas in captivity


Quick Links

Click here

to learn about L pod

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 

Sign up for our 

Whale Sighting  

or Free Lolita

Email Lists

Click Here to Join

June 13,  2016

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.
On the 9th a mix of Js, L87, and Ks came eastbound in Juan de Fuca while other Js and Ks were coming down from the north in Haro Strait. At some point in the afternoon the two groups met up. The next day reports had residents near Pt Roberts, WA on a southbound course, making Anacortes where shore based-viewers watched them continuing southwest at nightfall. Early the next day (11th), residents were again seen in Juan de Fuca Strait west of Sooke, BC, last reported heading west towards the Pacific.

In decades past there was at least enough Chinook salmon to sustain longer stays in the spring which we just aren't seeing these past several years. It is critical we keep doing all we can to ensure there is enough Chinook salmon to feed this community of grandmothers, daughters, sons, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  It is not acceptable to let them starve their way into extinction. You can learn more about the southern residents, their current status, what is being done and what you can do to help them by attending our Orca Month workshop on Whidbey Island this coming Saturday the 18th.  (See details below)

Humpback whales are here and showing up in numbers.  We've reports spread throughout the Salish Sea. A lovely minke whale showed up southwest of Smith Island, and a few coastal reports have come in of orcas, a humpback, and a gray.

For a full list of events & other information please visit the Orca Month website.

Please join us for our first ever Orca Month workshop, 'Orcas in Our Midst'.
Saturday June 18th in Langley, on beautiful Whidbey Island.
Cost is $35, $25 for students/seniors, with a $10 optional lunch (regular, veggie/vegan). See schedule and REGISTER HERE.

Confirmed speakers:
~ Ken Balcomb and Deborah Giles will share the history and future of the Center for Whale Research.
~ Michael O'Leary, National Wildlife Federation, will talk about the salmon needed to feed the orcas.
~ Rosie Cayou of the Samish Nation will share the Native and spiritual/cultural side of orcas.
~ Florian Graner, Sealife Productions will share and talk to his beautiful video.
~ Howard Garrett, Orca Network will catch us up on the fight to bring Tokitae/Lolita home.

Orca Network
Photo of the Day
June 9 
I arrive back on the island early in the morning and a few hours later Js and the K16s!
Here's Opus K16 passing close to shore at Lime Kiln State Park.
Photo by Melisa Pinnow, June 9, 2016  
Southern Residents
June 11 
1:40 pm- Looks like they all came together, good group of orca now just east of Otter Point foraging on salmon, no direction, maybe west.
Noon -  At least a dozen Orca at Sherringham Light house an hour ago heading east, and many orca off Beachy Head heading west.
Paul Pudwell in Sooke, BC: Orcas at


June 10 
9:25 p.m. - Ferry now slowed for whales!! Lots of fins just popped up behind ferry!! Lucky lucky people!
9:15 p.m. - they are spread out across Bellingham channel. S/SW bound still. Some long down times. Wish they'd get closer before dark!
9:06 p.m. - Some are closer now! Still far off, look to be SW bound.
8:53 p.m. - Did see one big breach. More blows. Can't tell if they're southbound or not.
8:20 p.m. - Looking north from Anacortes ferry terminal, blows in Bellingham channel.
Rachel Haight

We watched 9 orcas swim by around 3:30 and even got one breach. Watched from Sandy Beach shore in Ferndale, WA.
Photo by Canda LePage, June 10, 2016 

Polaris and J54 north-east of Sucia Island today, southbound. (approximately 2:30 pm)
Photo by Jill Hein, June 10, 2016
(zoomed & cropped) 

Lovely day on the water with J17s and J22s, just south of Pt. Roberts, at the north Arden Bank buoy. Pictured here are 23-year-old J28 Polaris and her offspring, 7-year-old daughter J46 Star & 6-month-old baby son J54.
Photo by Bonnie Gretz June 10, 2016 

J28 Polaris and sweet J54 baby face.
Photo by Bonnie Gretz, June 10, 2016 

18-year-old J34 Doublestuff near Pt. Roberts, WA
Photo by Bonnie Gretz, June 10, 2016 

K12 launching this afternoon off of Pt. Roberts!
Photo by Gary Sutton, June 10, 2016 

Photo by Gary Sutton, June 10, 2016  

12:53 a.m. - they are still on Orca Sound, just started back up with some light whistles after a lot of ship noise.
Melissa Burke


June 9 
Nothing like watching wild whales swim off into the sunset...
Photo taken this evening  from Land Bank on the west side of San Juan Island.

Photo by Monika Wieland, June 9, 2016 

8:30 p.m. - Lime Kiln was full so turned on OrcaSound around 8:30 to hear the sounds of Js and Ks, repertoire of calls went on for two hours before I signed off. Echolocation, percussive, one an obvious breach. Beautiful, beautiful evening eavesdropping on the communication of this clan.
Alisa Lemire Brooks, Orca Network
8:22 p.m. - They are on BOTH! Lime Kiln AND Orcasound!
7:59 p.m. - Lots of vocals now on Lime Kiln hydro. Don't know who they are. Lots of variety. Anyone?
Kim Merriman
7:56 p.m. - Lime Kiln Hydrophone faint vocals.
Melissa Howes
Some days are more magical than others! ...As our first trip of the morning departed, Ks were discovered way west of Victoria, too far. Ugh! So Capt. Alan NIles and naturalist Heather MacIntyre just went out and found J Pod, coming down from the north! By the time for my first trip of the day came around, some of the Js were right in front of our dock at Snug Resort. By my second trip, the Ks were close enough so we went to see them. We got to the Ks and interestingly, found J2, Granny, and her surrogate son, L87, Onyx, leisurely traveling east with the Ks. And then, both groups started racing toward each other and we were there to see it! It was amazing! Like two large groups of relatives, who like each other, having a family reunion! I'm so fortunate to be able to spend so much time on these amazing waters.
Capt Jim Maya, Maya's Legacy WW

Matriarch J2 Granny with inbound eastbound Js & Ks.
Photo by Capt Jim Maya, June 9, 2016 

Photo by Capt Jim Maya, June 9, 2016 

Photo by Capt. Jim Maya, June 9, 2016 

June 9 trip - We left Anacortes with reports of "lots of whales" coming in from the coast - so headed towards Victoria in hopes of meeting them. After checking seal haul-outs on Colville Island, we continued west and received better news, members of J and K pods were heading towards us from the north end of San Juan Island!! So we slightly altered course and picked up the leaders of this very spread out group. J-26 Mike was foraging a mile or so off-shore, along with other members of both J & K pods .... so good to see these endangered Southern Resident Killer Whales back in the Salish Sea! Homeward bound, we found 3 Steller sea lions hauled out on a channel marker. An exciting day aboard the Mystic Sea.
Jill Hein, volunteer naturalist.

Here comes J19 Shachi.
Photo by Jill Hein, June 9, 2016
(ID by Melisa Pinnow, CWR) 

J26 Mike passing Lime Kiln State Park.
Photo by Jill Hein, June 9, 2016 

J26 Mike - Haro Strait
Photo by Jill Hein, June 9, 2016 

1:38 p.m. Just saw a whale south of the light house at Lime Kiln web cam.
Kim Merriman
1:25 p.m. - Hearing some calls on the Lime Kiln Hydrophone right now.
Denise Stubbs
1:11 p.m. - Orcas going nuts on orca sound. Positive ID K16, K35, K21 southbound in Haro strait near Sidney channel. I'm on the 12pm ferry from Sidney to Anacortes. K21 booking it FAST southbound.
Ariel Yseth
We were on the search for killer whales, and hadn't found any after an hour and a half of our trip. That all changed when J Pod, (and parts of K Pod) found us! There's no better feeling then having the animals you want other people so badly to experience, and be inspired by to find you coming around the corner of Turn Point Light as you're about to start talking about the light house. It's a romantic notation, but it sure made my day.
On another note, at the end of the day, I caught a glimpse of J53 with what looks to be a young halibut in her mouth. This had a somber note to it because these orcas should be feeding on Chinook salmon right now. They should be plentiful, and coming into the Salish Sea to spawn in the thousands, or would have been doing so now historically. The fact that this little calf was eating halibut only means that there's still no fish for these big blackfish.
Heather MacIntyre

I can't tell you how awesome it feels to have your favorite matriline find you as you're looking for orcas! J36 Alki.
Photo by Heather MacIntyre, June 9, 2016 

J53 with a halibut in her mouth.
Photo by Heather MacIntyre, June 9, 2016 

K35 in a playful beach in some rough seas.
Photo by Heather MacIntyre, June 9, 2016 
J pod and K pod were inbound just west of Race Rocks, when we caught up with K26 Lobo and L87 Onyx as they traveled together while J40 Suttles swam ahead of them. At one point she decided to surprise us with a close pass off our port bow! Startled everyone because we were't expecting it....trip also included two humpbacks, one of them being BCY0409 Yogi, who has also been seen in Hawaii! So good to see the southern residents again!
Renee Beitzel

J40 Suttles surprises with a very close pass while eastbound Juan de Fuca Strait.
Photo by Renee Beitzel, June 9, 2016 

K26 Lobo glides through Juan de Fuca just west of Race Rocks Ecological Reserve.
Photo by Renee Beitzel, June 9, 2016 

L87 Onyx travels with J pod, specifically at the side of J2 Granny, seen here on an eastbound course near Race Rocks.
Photo by Renee Beitzel, June 9, 2016 

10:44 a.m. - J's and some K's inbound from Sooke Now!
Paul Pudwell  
Coastal killer whales
June 11 
Had a message this morning from Carrie Newell reporting a pod of 5 - 6 orcas heading north past Depoe Bay, OR in 138' of water June 11th at 12:30 pm. The pod included 1 lg. male and a juvenile, and there were also two young gray whale near the shore, that stayed there as the orcas went by. She has not yet had time to go through photos to ID the orcas.


June 7 
Got a call  from Cathy Niederhauser to report seeing 3, or possibly 5, killer whale about 1,000-1500' from shore at Depoe Bay OR, June 7, around 5-6 pm. just circling around.
06/07/2016 05:15 PM - Two orcas - My wife and I were watching the seals on Cobble Beach on the Oregon, when I noticed a large dorsal fin and then spout in front of me. I thought it was a porpoise at first, but then it skimmed the surface and I could see the head was much larger and the dorsal was maybe 4-5 feet from water to tip. Then my wife spotted another one as it peeked up out of the water to look at the seals on the little islands/rock formations in the channel. We watched them circle one more time before they went out to sea again. We were probably 50 yards from seeing the first whale. They were definitely orcas. We couldn't get a picture to turn out unfortunately. The dorsals blended in with the black rocks. Looked like they were hunting the seals in the shallows. NW Lighthouse Dr, Newport, OR 97365, USA Latitude: 44.674757 | Longitude: -124.078345
Kevin & Joanna Nesgoda

Humpback whales
June 12 
11:30 a.m. - We went out with Puget Express and had a great time. No Orcas but we did see two Humpbacks off Port Angeles.  Here's one of the the whales.
 (who were identified as BCY0160 Heather and BCX1057 Divot)
Photo by Shannon Hull, June 12, 2016 


June 11 - San Juans 
A challenging trip with wind and confused seas as we headed out of Cattle Pass towards the Salmon Bank marker, where a number of Steller sea-lions were doing a precarious balancing act. After passing the marker at 12:45 pm, we spotted the distinctive blow of a humpback whale among the whitecaps. Lucky to get these two shots as we bounced around in the waves, but a calmer trip home!
Sandra Pollard, Author/Naturalist

Humpback surfaces near Salmon Bank - east Juan de Fuca.
Photo by Sandra Pollard, June 11, 2016 

Photo by Sandra Pollard, June 11, 2016 

A gregarious, unidentified humpback waves hello North of Spieden Island, Saturday.
Photo by Steve Smith, June 11, 2016 

June 11 - Puget Sound 
6:47 p.m. -  Beautiful sunlit huge blows and arch into deep dive - definitely Humpback!
6:38 p.m. -  now I'm thinking I'm seeing multiple Humpbacks in the East Useless Bay Area. Last blow was a lot closer and the whale was westerly. *as seen from north Edmonds.
6:31 p.m. -  Whale blows! (Guessing Humpback) - East of yellow buoy off of east Double Bluff ( south edge of Useless Bay).  Believe direction is easterly.
Stu Davidson


June 10 - Juan de Fuca 
 BCX1057 Divot & BCY0160 Heather the humpbacks, travelling together North of Port Angeles.
Photo by Janine Harles, June 10, 2016 

Either BCY0160 Heather or BCX1057 Divot, they were together  north of Port Angeles - Juan de Fuca Strait.
Photo by Janine Harles, June 10, 2016 

June 10 - Puget Sound 
4:25 p.m. - Humpback (or gray whale)... Saw a large whale spouting and surfacing several times to the southwest of Discovery Park, Seattle. Probably humpback based on fin shape, but distant. Traveling slowly. Looked like it was moving slowly south-southeast.  Generally towards Elliott Bay
Matt Dufort


June 9 
7:30 - One or two humpbacks just went past West Seattle, between Brace Pt. and Three Tree Point (Burien)heading south about 200 yards from shore.
Thanks for the call by Gail McElligott.


June 8 - WA Coast 
This whale was off Ilwaco, taken at Cape Disappointment State Park.
Photo by Jane Webb sent in by Matt Winters, June 8, 2016.

June 8 - Puget Sound 
There were two humpbacks out there today. (middle Sound between Point No Point/Edmonds/south Whidbey) They came together briefly after one was surface active with cartwheeling and lob-tailing. We left for a while but then came back to them being apart again, though in same general area. One of them was BCX1210 which was in the same general area last year in October! The dorsal fin tipped me off.
Renee Beitzel

Underside fluke of Humpback whale BCX 1210 -
Middle of Puget Sound between Point No Point/Edmonds/south Whidbey.
Photo by Renee Beitzel, June 8, 2016 

Pectoral flipper and partial tail fluke of BCX 1210 - Puget Sound
Photo by Renee Beitzel, June 8, 2016 

6:08 p.m. -  Humpback still active!! Blows and fluke high on dives. Line of sight from north Edmonds is Double Bluff.. Whale is between Pt No Pt and Useless Bay
1:55 p.m. - Seems to be "playing" short dives and just going back and forth in different directions. My line of sight from north Edmonds is the houses on the east side of Scatchet head, but the humpback is south of Possession point
1:10 p.m. -  huge blows still. And flukes up high into dives! South of Possession Point a couple miles. Last dive it looked to be heading (or feeding) north westerly. (in direction of Scatchet Head)
10:11 a.m. -  humpback breaching!! South east of Point No Point.
Stu Davidson


June 7 
4:41 p.m.  - huge arch into a dive (definitely a humpback!). Line of sight is between Point No Point and North Edmonds. Like last night it seems to be again heading towards Scatchet Head.
4:18 p.m. -  whale blow (likely humpback) south east of Point No Point  east of shipping lane - looking to be heading northerly!
Stu Davidson
2:45 p.m. - Humpback rolling and feeding about a mile out from Kingston ferry dock. On the ferry heading west and Captain even slowed it down so we could watch for a few minutes.
Chris Beamer Otterson  
(This reports pick up where our June 7th Sightings Report cut off with the Kingston humpback in the area from early morning into early afternoon) 
Gray whales
June 11 - Coastal 
Had a message this morning from Carrie Newell reporting a pod of 5 - 6 orcas heading north past Depoe Bay, OR in 138' of water June 11th at 12:30 pm. The pod included 1 lg. male and a juvenile, and there were also two young gray whale near the shore, that stayed there as the orcas went by. She has not yet had time to go through photos to ID the orcas.


May 30 - Puget Sound 
10:30 a.m. on Monday, May 30 (Memorial Day) a gray whale spouted, surfaced, rolled a bit, and then dove with a huge fluke display just 150-200 yards offshore at Lagoon Point on Whidbey Island. It was headed south and seemed to be "en route" somewhere beyond us. Magnificent! Traveling and we assume eating as there is good supply off our shoreline!
Dianne Bratz
Minke whales
June 10 
Close encounter of the minke kind! This minke came up to the boat and surfaced twice in front of us! Southwest of Smith Island - Strait of Juan de Fuca.
Photo by Janine Harles, June 10, 2016


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.