The Luck of Whale Watching

Up your luck of sighting whales by going to the Langley Whale Center.
by Deborah Mahuji

Langley, Wash. Whidbey Island has many whale centers that guide locals and tourists alike to spot whales in the North Puget Sound that migrate in the specific seasons between Fall and Winter. All kinds of whales can be spotted, including orcas, gray whales, and humpbacks. A small, unique population of 10-12 Gray whales find sustenance in the waters of Saratoga Passage and Possession Sound each March-May. Each year, typically beginning mid-February to early March, the small population of gray whales known as the North Puget Sound grays, or “Sounders,” detour from their long northbound migration between Baja, California, and the Bering Sea to feed.

Spy a whale ring the bell sculpture in Langley.
Photo courtesy of Deborah Mahuji

Alisa Lemire Brooks, who is the Whale Sighting Network Coordinator of the Langley Whale Center gave a brief rundown on the locations where there is a higher percentage of sighting whales on the Island. She says you can stop by a location with public access, for example, a park or a parking lot where boats are stored. Inside the Langley Whale Center is a map of Whidbey Island that has many sticky notes posted on it about where whales were sighted. And on it is a map key which is a useful tool that can assist observers with finding public shore-based viewpoints around the Puget Sound Regions.

Infographic of marine mammals of the Salish Sea found in Langley.
Photo courtesy of Deborah Mahuji

Whale sightings from the public provide critical information about the travels of the whales. The Langley Whale Center, and Orca Network website also provide up-to-date information on the latest research and issues related to gray whales, orcas, other cetaceans, and their habitats.