We received a report that members of J Pod were heading towards east point on Saturna Island heading towards boundary pass around noon. We arrived at Snug Harbor at 1pm and departed from the dock shortly after. We travelled north up Haro Strait and found the first of the whales as they were porpoising south around Turn Point on Stuart Island. The whales were spread across the whole strait from Sydney Island back to Battleship Island in pairs or alone. We tried to track them but the water were not favorable and the whales were porpoising away from us so we close to wait back at the dock until conditions improved.

At 3:45 we once again departed from Snug Harbor with the hope of intersecting with the last of the whales heading south. We encountered a mother and calf pair on the west side of Henry Island near the bird rookery. We trailed that pair for about 20 minutes as they were foraging. Because our focal group included the youngest calf, J59 and her mom J37, we increased our following distance to minimize any chance of interference. The tide was still flooding and we were positioned well north of the whales in a position that would be optimal for detecting fecal samples in the water. We ended our research voyage as the mother and calf pair ended their foraging bout and began traveling south at fast speed.

Research Vessel

R/V Cheena


Southern Resident Killer Whales


J Pod

Research Activities

Fecal Collection

This work is made possible in part by a grant from
Rose Foundation