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Orca Network Whale Sighting Report  

In This Issue
Upcoming Events
Photo of the Day
J and K pods in Puget Sound
Orcas in Admiralty Inlet and Puget Sound January 5
Whales and Dolphins of BC
Elwha dam removals

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Orcas in Our Midst, volume 3, by Howard Garrett

Orcas in Our Midst,

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

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We are watching and visiting the whales in their home~                                         January 6, 2012

Please observe, love and respect them from a distance.

A few scattered reports from Thursday, January 5, including an automated call detection from the Port Townsend hydrophone before 5 am, showed probable J pod and K pod members heading south into Admiralty Inlet before dawn, and passing Ballard just after 3 pm. On Friday a steady stream of reports traced their movements from just north of Vashon Island at 9:30 to just south of Alki, West Seattle, then back north almost to Point No Point, Kitsap Peninsula. NOAA researcher accompanied them Friday, gathering fecal and scale samples for prey studies. Although they saw J16 (Slick) several times, unfortunately they didn't see J48, her newborn from December 17.

KOMO TV photographers shot some beautiful footage of J and K pods this afternoon in Puget Sound, from a chopper over 1,000' up by KOMO TV: Large whale pod seen frolicking in Puget Sound. KOMO also incorrectly reported in the 6 pm news that the new calf J48 was seen, but corrected their report in the 11 pm news to say the baby was missing.

Registrations have been brisk, but are still open for Orca Network's annual Ways of Whales Workshop on January 28 in Coupeville with a sterling lineup of speakers on whale-related topics.

Howard Garrett

Susan Berta

Orca Network 

Photo of the Day
 
TTucker010612-A...in bkgd-TT
How wonderful to be standing by the West Seattle shore with so many other appreciative community members, watching the orcas young and old frolic their way north past Vashon and Blake Islands, then along Bainbridge Island until they were out of sight.
Photo by Trileigh Tucker, January 6, 2012.

J and K pods in Puget Sound January 6
January 6
Brad Hanson of NOAA Fisheries, who was out with the orcas today in Puget Sound, said members of both J and K pods were present. They did see J16, but did not see her new calf, J48 while they were with the whales today. He conferred with Ken Balcomb of the Center for Whale Research, and they agree no confirmation of the calf's status can be made until they are able to have another encounter with J16 and her matriline. 
They left the whales half way between Kingston and Point No Point, just before dark. Brad feels the whales were likely going to head out of Admiralty Inlet (however reports below, posted shortly after the research boat departed, say the whales slowed down and stalled out - so who knows which way they will go). 
Orca Network 

January 6
4:45 - Research vessel just left. Whales are still heading north. 
4:50 - Last 30 min or so have picked up pace a bit. Should be coming up to Point No Point soon. Maybe before too dark. 
Mike Russell 

January 6
~4:15 - I saw them go by just north of Kingston. They are moving more quickly now, it seems! 
Shirley Bomgaars 

January 6
4:05 - can see blows from pt. no pt. 
Joel Petree 

January 6
4:03 - They pretty much due west of Edmonds ferry terminal. 
Mike Russell 

January 6
3:55 pm - Cathy Bacon reports orcas north of Kingston, along the kitsap side with research boat. 

January 6
3:50 - I'm still sitting north of Edmonds ferry. Can still see one research vessel and occasional splashes near it. Still slowly heading north. 
Mike Russell 

January 6
15.35hrs - looks like they're off Appletree Cove, west side of south bound shipping lane off Kingston, WA. 
Cameron H. Covington 

January 6
3:28 pm - The orcas are headed slowly north, very close to the Kingston-Edmonds ferry lane now. Rain is making it hard for me to see them from Richmond Beach, but they'll probably be visible to you soon! It's tail-lob Friday out there! 
Dave Haas 

January 6
3:10 pm - I've spotted the orcas through binoculars: south of the Kingston-Edmonds ferry, north of mid-channel buoy, 2-3 miles from the Shoreline/Edmonds side. There is clearly a research boat out with them now. Headed slowly north still. Kitsap peninsula folks may have a better view... 
Dave Haas 

January 6
3:05 pm - Meg McDonald sees many blows from Carkeek Park, possibly in a resting line north of Kingston, still heading north in the misty distance. 

January 6
2:28 - Very close to NE point of Bainbridge. 
Meg McDonald 

January 6
2:09 - We see them still tailslapping between 2 research boats. 
Meg McDonald 

January 6
1:54 - whales are about a mile offshore from Carkeek Park, north of Golden Gardens.... and they're still heading north at moderate speed, not a lot of surface activity. 
Lori Robinson 

January 6
1:18 - they are now mid channel right off golden gardens. 
12:34 - orcas at Discovery Park, heading north slowly, still lots of tail slaps. 
Whitney Neugebauer 

January 6
Sounds like they are finding a lot of fish, nearly every report we've had is of lots of tail-lobbing! KOMO News said their video even showed one orca on it's side tail-lobbing. 
Orca Network 

January 6
12:21 - my last update, gotta go to work. They are rounding from out off the south end of Magnolia Bluff, same pace northward. Looks like another research boat joined the first one. Happy day. 
Alisa Lemire Brooks 

January 6
12:12 - just moving north of the magnolia blvd pull off. North of the small boat. 
Alison Bazeley 

January 6
12:08 - they are still mid channel west of the Elliot Bay Marina just off Magnolia keeping that slow steady pace northward 
Alisa Lemire Brooks 

January 6
Saw them at 1150 from magnolia blvd, they were circling a small boat and swimming slowly lobbing tails--- I've been trying to see them for over a year m. Finally!!! What an amazing day!! Ear to ear smile. 
Allie Gardner 

January 6
~11:50 -  Watching from Alki - group is indeed heading north - now midchannel across from Winslow. Can see a new baby too!    
Trileigh Tucker 
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Backflip!
Photo by Trileigh Tucker, January 6, 2012 
January 6
11:40 - group with research boat is smack in the middle of the east & west ferry lanes of the Bainbridge run, much tail lobbing. 
Alisa Lemire Brooks 

January 6
11:36 - They are still off Elliot Bay mid channel northbound nearing Bainbridge ferry lanes. They are moving fairly slow though they probably will take a little longer to reach Golden Gardens if they continue direct north movement at this pace. Also look for the small research skiff. 
Alisa Lemire Brooks 

January 6
11 am update from Jeff hogan - orcas are 1/2 mile off Alki now, slowly heading north. He has ID'd J pod - the J11s, J16s, J17s, J22s. NOAA Fisheries is out with them, so hopefully we'll get more details later in the day. 

January 6
~11:00 - Still seeing a group mid channel slow movement north between Alki & Bainbridge. Seaplane circling above, maybe get some pics. 
Alisa Lemire Brooks 

January 6
~10:56 - they're heading that way - about level with alki point now. Enjoy - they were lots of fun to watch from my windows this morning ; ) 
Amanda Gilbert 

January 6
~10:36 - From Queen Anne I see them off the tip of Alki pt heading north. Tail lobbing. 
Alisa Lemire Brooks 

January 6
10:35 - Confirming earlier report of about 10. Off Alki. Seem to be swimming north. 
Meg McDonald 

January 6
~10:25 - Big bunches - 6 and 4-5 - off Lowman beach, milling and heading northish. 
Trileigh Tucker 

January 6
~10:20 - They turned around. Heading north now. 
Kelly Burns Keenan 

January 6
~10:15 - At least 5 in front of Emma Scmitz park (off beach dr south of alki point) right now. 
Amanda Gilbert 

January 6
~10:15 - At least 4 are heading north past Blake Island closer to the west seattle side, possible baby. 
Jennifer Farley 

January 6
10:08 - Update from Jeff Hogan - the orcas have now turned north, and are mid-channel, approaching Alki Pt. 

January 6
9:50 am - Jeff Hogan of Killer Whale Tales called with a report of orcas at the Fauntleroy/Vashon ferry crossing, headed south at. No ID's yet. 

January 6
Another report emailed: 7 orcas seen from the Vashon/Fauntleroy Ferry at 9:10 am, heading south, observed by Topher Farrell. 

January 6
9:30 am - Received a call from Amy Carey - she has a report of 10 orcas off the north side of Vashon Island, heading south. 
Orcas in Admiralty Inlet and Puget Sound January 5
January 5
Fred Lundhal called with a second-hand report of two orcas, a mom and calf, about 400 yards off the beach at Langley, Whidbey Island from 4:15 to 5 pm. In light of the report of orcas going south past Ballard after 3 pm, we can't verify that these were orcas, or whether they were possibly sea lions rafting and sticking their flippers in the air, since we haven't spoken to the original reporting party. Or it's possible that there are some transients near Langley while the residents are headed south in Puget Sound.

January 5
S/V ORION: The whales were headed south past Ballard and West Point between 3:00 and 3:30 this afternoon. We saw around ten whales including a mother and calf who were surfacing more frequently than the others. Much too far away for photos.

January 5
~11:15 am - Sound Experience aboard the Schooner Adventuress posted: ORCAS. We're Northbound for Port Townsend and 4 whales southbound in the lanes just south of Point No Point. Good omen for the upcoming winter projects.

January 5
9:30 am - Just got a call from the neighbor. There is a group of Orcas heading south just going past Hansville--almost to Point No Point about mid-channel. They were pretty far out. I saw about 3 or 4 dorsals at least.
Judy Anderson Roupe

January 5
Southern Resident Killer Whale calls auto-detected this morning during two periods: 04:02-04:12 and 04:48-04:50.  Spectrograms and mp3s here.
Scott Veirs
Whales and Dolphins of BC
January 5
Some Northern Resident Orca made an appearance in the Blackfish Sound area just above Johnstone Strait today, January 5, 2012. There were also Transient Orca rumoured in the upper Johnstone Strait area.
Susan McKay

 

Elwha dam removals - the largest in U.S. history
Don't miss an evening discussion about the largest dam removal in U.S. history, and second-largest restoration project in the country!

WHAT: A presentation by Jerry Freilich, Ph.D., Research Coordinator, Olympic National Park and Jeffrey J. Duda, Research Ecologist, USGS Biological Resources Division

WHEN: Wednesday, January 11, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.

WHERE: REI Flagship Store, 222 Yale Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109

WHO: National Park Conservation Association, NatureBridge, American Rivers, American Whitewater, and the National Park Service

CONTACT/RSVP: Please contact David Graves with any questions, dgraves@npca.org or 206.903.1444

OTHER INFO: This is a FREE event! Parking (not free) is available at REI.
ABOUT ORCA NETWORK  
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-ORCANET), email info@orcanetwork.org, or post sightings on our Orca Network Facebook page.


*BE WHALE WISE! BOATERS - NEW FEDERAL REGULATIONS IN EFFECT AS OF MAY 16, 2011:

 "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.