Orca Network 

Whale Sighting Report  

In This Issue
Upcoming Events
Photo of the Day
Southern Residents
Bigg's/Transient killer whales
Coastal killer whales
Humpback whales
Unidentified whales
Short-Beaked Common dolphins
Harbor porpoise
Upcoming Events:
June is Orca Month

Events calendar 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:

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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 

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June 20,  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.
Happy Summer Solstice!  Many members of L pod (including  matrilines that include little babes L122 and L123) were found heading eastbound in Juan de Fuca Strait early the morning of the 18th. Spread out, they continued east and then made their customary left northbound up Haro Strait in search of salmon. Soon after they could be heard on the hydrophone at Lime Kiln Lighthouse and soon after that, just a few miles to the north, they turned back southbound making Salmon Bank off the south end of San Juan Island in the evening. At some point that night or early morning they aimed themselves westward and exited back out Juan de Fuca, reported still westbound at the Jordan River on the 19th.  The absence of Js and Ks more regularly this spring and the fact that none have been staying is worrisome. This means there is not enough Fraser Chinook salmon to entice them in more frequently nor sustain their stays for longer periods when they have been in. Let's hope the Fraser runs pick up soon and  where ever the SRKWs travel they are finding enough salmon to feed all their beautiful bellies!

At the same time Ls were eastbound on the 18th, a group of Transients were also in Juan de Fuca SW bound you can read about that in Center for Whale Research Encounter 55 included below.  Reports of Transient encounters have waned, but a couple of families still roam and have been encountered by many.

On the 16th, people were treated to a very rare Salish Sea visitor when they encountered a pod of Short-Beaked Common near Victoria.  These dolphins are typically found in waters much warmer than ours.

And this ID from Frances Robertson on the Minke included in our June 13th report:
The minke in this latest report ( June 13th) is none other than Chrissie Hynde (Bank), formally known to us as Jonny Rotten. This whale has been seen pretty consistently since at least 2004.
It was an incredible day this past Saturday at our first ever Orca Month workshop in Langley! Big thanks to all who attended, to the wonderful and amazing presenters, our incredible staff, board, and volunteers. It was unanimous that this will become an annual event! Special thanks to our new Education and Events Coordinator Cindy Hansen for all her hard work in pulling this event together, and for all who shared this special day with us.

Next Event:

Friday June 24th at 3PM - A Rally in Seattle for Endangered Orcas.
Westlake Park - 401 Pine St., Seattle (next to the fountain)
President Obama and Governor Inslee will be in Seattle together on June 24th. Join us as we stand together to send a message to our elected officials that they must act now to save orcas and salmon. We are asking that they support breaching the 4 Lower Snake River Dams. Please wear only black & white clothing to support the orcas. There will be some posters & banners available, but please feel free to bring your own.
Email with questions.

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

Orca Network
Photo of the Day
June 18 
7-1/2 month-old L123 near Salmon Bank, off south San Juan Island on Saturday evening.
Photo by James Gresham, June 18, 2016 
Southern Residents
June 19 
Members of L pod westbound off of Jordan River, Juan de Fuca Strait.
Photo by Mark Malleson, June 19, 2016 


June 18 
...At 1242, about two miles east of Race Rocks a fin briefly appeared in the choppy gray water beneath a darkening sky full of moisture. This is the Pacific Northwest, after all. The encounter nonetheless began. The first group of whales encountered were of the L47 matriline - grandma L47 with daughter L91 and her 10 month old son, L122. The six year old male, L115, was with the group, and L83 with L110 were several hundred yards off their right flank. L90 and L92 were a bit further off, and some whales (leaders) were reported to already be nearing Constance Bank and travelling quickly at about 9 knots with an incoming tide....
Center for Whale Research, See CWR photos and read full report at CWR Encounter 54.

L103 Lapis and L123. Saturday evening near Salmon Bank.
Photo by James Gresham, June 18, 2016 

L84 Nyssa near Salmon Bank on Saturday evening.
Photo by James Gresham, June 18, 2016 


Kasatka L82 breaches off Lime Kiln State Park. Taken from shore.
Photo by Melisa Pinnow, June 18, 2016 

We had the L4s, L26s, L47s, and L72s pass Lime Kiln  so it was a pretty good number (L54s off False Bay when everyone else was at LK)
3:32 p.m. - Most passed LK offshore but they've flipped and are heading slowly south against strong flood.
3:00 p.m. - Very spread, most may hit north of Lime Kiln.
Monika Wieland

It was a pleasant surprise to have some of L-Pod come in today! Here's a breach by L82 Kasatka off Lime Kiln this afternoon.
Photo by Monika Wieland, June 18, 2016 

2:24 - Orcas on Lime Kiln hydrophone. Faint and sporadic....trying to be heard over the clanking and chugging of a ship.
Kim Merriman
11:04 p.m. - Many SRKW coming in east from Sooke!
Paul Pudwell


June 7 
 - Matriarch of the southern residents, J2 Granny -
Orca watching Off Point Roberts, WA, water was a little rough but orcas really active!
Photo by Bob Mepham, JUne 7, 2016 

L87 Onyx near Point Roberts. He travels with J pod, primarily by J2's side.
Photo by Bob Mepham, June 7, 2016 

Photo by Bob Mepham, June 7, 2016 

J2 leading...
Photo by Bob Mepham, June 7, 2016 
Bigg's/Transient killer whales
June 19 
12:36 p.m.  - Just helped a neighbor dock his boat at the Edmonds marina.. He said he was down by Elliott bay and saw a good size pod of Orcas -- they were mid channel.
Stu Davidson


June 18 
While conducting Encounter 54 with L pod Residents heading east off Victoria, a report came in of Transient whales heading out on a near collision course on the southeast edge of Constance Bank...The Transients were travelling in a close knit group and heading southwest outbound, passing within one mile of the Residents heading east inbound. This is one of those rare occasions where the Resident and Transient ecotype whales nearly overlap in habitat use in time and space....
Center for Whale Research, See CWR photos and read full report at CWR Encounter 55.

T046D near Victoria BC on Saturday morning.
Photo by James Gresham, June 18, 2016
(ID's by Michael Colahan of Island Adventures) 

T046D cartwheeling near Victoria BC on Saturday morning.
Photo by James Gresham, June 18, 2016 

T073A1 (breaching) with T073A near Victoria, BC Saturday morning.
Photo by James Gresham, June 18, 2016 


June 17 
...We headed down to Snug and left aboard "Shachi" at 1651. The whales, who turned out to be the T46's and T73A's, had taken a right at Battleship Rock and had entered the western part of Spieden Channel so we went through Mosquito Pass and got on scene about a quarter mile east of Battleship Rock at 1703...
Center for Whale Research, See CWR photos and read full report at CWR Encounter 53

Downwind sail against the flood through Cattle Pass to meet incoming transient orcas, T46's and T73A's. We all ran the flood up the west side. (San Juan Island)  We observed the kids playing with their food, a harbor seal lifted into the air. A great kerfuffle of bait fish, gulls, and rhinoceros auklets as the orcas surprised everyone surfacing from below the bait ball. Male orcas T46E was close alongside of T73A1 all day, with frisky playful contact. T46 born estimated 1964 was in the last live capture in Puget Sound's Budd Inlet, Olympia, but was released. Thankfully instead of a life in captivity, she went on to have at least 6 offspring and is also a great-grandmother. We left the orcas north of Battleship, were watched by a Peregrine Falcon, and a fiery sunset through San Juan Channel.
Barbara Bender/David Howitt, All Aboard Sailing

T73A1 with T46E
Photo by Barbara Bender, June 17, 2016 

T73A2, T73A3, and T46F goofing around.
Photo by Barbara Bender, June 17, 2016 

Mothers T46 and T73A
Photo by Barbara Bender, June 17, 2016 

16-year-old male T46D.
Photo by Barbara Bender, June 17, 2016 

WA State Ferries called in a report of 7 orcas, including 1 adult male, 3 adult females and 3 calves, crossing the international border at 6:40 PM
. (Message a bit confusing, but based on this and earlier reports we believe this was off the N. end of San Juan Island, and the orcas were traveling north)
Saw the transients- there were about 10 orcas that we saw. It was around 3:15-3:30 pm on Friday afternoon 6/17. We were by Lime Kiln Point Lighthouse. The whales were headed amazing!
AnJenette Charlson, June 17, 2016  


June 16 
T101A passes by Victoria's Ogden Point breakwater on the afternoon of June 16th.
Photo by Mark Malleson, June 16, 2016 

June 16 
- T46F, T46D and T46 -
4:50 p.m. - We were with the T46s today and they were on a steady track east towards Admiralty Inlet. They've already passed Protection Island.
Photo by Renee Beitzel, June 16, 2016 


June 15 
1:30 p.m. - 2 Orcas halfway down Marrowstone Island shoreline by Craven Rock currently moving south.
Rob Sanderson


June 14 
1:30 p.m. - T49C and female were last seen south of Nodule Point, pointed south at Hood Canal. (female is T091. ID made by Melisa Pinnow and again confirmed by Dave Ellifrit- FB comment by Renee Beitzel)
Christopher Hanke
12:30 p.m. - I'm at Ft Casey and whales way out of sight well south of me, but based on WW boat, whales still southbound on Kitsap side, nearing the south end of Marrowstone. I'm headed home for now. Good luck out there!
11:52 a.m. - About to pass Ft Flagler and it appears they'll pass close to shore there. Quickly moving south.
11:45 a.m. - They are still southbound, Kitsap side, south of Port Townsend ferry lanes.
11:24 a.m. - They've turned. Now Southbound
11:00 a.m. - Two orca traveling NW out of Admiralty, just south of Pt Wilson. Mid channel. Two WW boats following.
Rachel Haight
10:25 a.m. - Marty Crowley called in a report of an announcement on the Pt. Townsend/Coupeville ferry of orcas sighted, half way across Admiralty Inlet.  
Coastal killer whales
June 18 - Washington Coast 
8:55 pm -  Orcas in Grays Harbor. Pod of at least 4 orcas just south of Ocean Shores Marina Grays Harbor. Includes 1 LG male. Feeding.
Kathryn Franzen

June 18 - Oregon Coast 
U.S. Coast Guard flies in for a closer look at killer whale pod
FLORENCE, Ore. - Helicopter crew members from the U.S. Coast Guard Sector North Bend were making a routine trip from North Bend to Newport Saturday afternoon when they spotted a pod of killer whales hunting off the coast near Florence...Once they descended, Jones said he saw a pod of six killer whales ranging in size. The crew flew circles around the pod and witnessed them jumping and swimming around a sea lion...
See full CH 13 KVAL article with photos HERE. 
Humpback whales
June 8 
This is the evening cruise 6-8-16 with Jim and April, we followed this Humpback from North of Battleship, to Stuart Island. At one point it even looked like it was going into the Harbor at Pender. The juvenile humpback we had did have some markings that might help in any ID's. I didn't get a good tail,  but I have several of the Left side dorsal on down to the flukes and to me it looks like this humpback even has possible propeller scars?
Cher Renke
(We sent the below and several other of Cher's photos to Cascadia: "I do not think these are prop scars which tend to have a very distinctive look with multiple cuts in a pattern. The ones shown here could come from any of multiple sources including entanglement." - John Calambokidis)

Humpback underside fluke - Haro Strait
Photo by Cher Renke, June 8, 2016 

Photo by Cher Renke, June 8, 2016 
Photo by Cher Renke, June 8, 2016 
Unidentified whales
June 18 - Washington Coast 
8:40 a.m. - off Long Beach, WA. Heading south from the Bolstad Approach. Saw two breaches....It's greys or humpbacks in a feeding frenzy now that I have the binocs. Sorry for the false orca alarm. Still cool though! The birds are going nuts out there. Must be some good eating.
Jon Scanlon


June 16-  Admiralty Inlet 
Gary and I are camping off Point Wilson at Fort Worden. Tonight we were perched in our truck by the lighthouse watching for possible T's that may be heading that way. We spotted 3 distinctive blows from 3 whales: two bigger blows and one smaller. A pattern of 3-4 blows then they would dive and resurface approx 4-5 minutes later as if feeding. The blows would appear about 5-10 seconds apart in separate vicinity but close together as if traveling together. We watched them until they traveled north out of our view. The behavior reminded me of grays as we have watched grays off the Oregon Coast for 30 years. But they could have been possibly humpbacks? Never saw dorsal fins. Anyone report any sightings?? This was about 7'ish tonight.
Tammy Shelton 
Short-Beaked Common dolphins
June 16 
A short-beaked common dolphin near Victoria on the afternoon of June 16th.
Photo by Mark Malleson 

Short-beaked common dolphin! Off of Victoria! The first time I've ever seen them! Very Rare! What are they doing in our "cold" waters?
Photo by Capt Jim Maya, June 16, 2016 

Photo by Capt Jim Maya, June 16, 2016 
Harbor Porpoise
June 15 
1:30  p.m. - Half dozen Harbor porpoise 200 yards from shore north Edmonds.
Alisa Lemire Brooks


June 13 
6:35 a.m. - Harbor Porpoise off Kingston ferry dock area
Tony Woelkes, WSF 

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.