Each year we report the movements of the whales on Lake Superior. The reports are sightings sent by residents and visitors along the North Shore of Lake Superior. If you spot whale activity, let us know by filling out the form on the right! We accept photos, too!
My wife and I spent our 10th Anniversary in the Grand Marais area this past weekend. The sites and town were beautiful! We had heard of whale sightings in the area, so we decided to spend an evening eating pizza and custard on the roof of Sydney’s and spotted this beauty (and were fortunate enough to get a pic)! We were expecting humpbacks or narwhales, but definitely not an orca! What a wonderful surprise!!
– MattNina Notes: Love this shot! And Happy Anniversary!
Upon arriving at our condo in Lutsen I stepped out on the deck with my camera, (D300 Nikon with 600mm telephoto lense) and got incredibly lucky with this shot. Not sure what type of whale it was, and never saw it again although I monitored the lake for hours during our week’s stay.
– GaryNina Notes: Great shot, Gary! Looks like the Lake Superior Minke whale.
There are no whales in the great lakes. Nice try ppl, and for those who believe…..
–Nina Notes: Click the 'see articles' button on the right under CONFUSED?
My family and I were having some frozen custard on the rooftop deck at Sidney’s in Grand Marais when we caught the tail end of a whale breaching in the bay. Probably the same whale Mary saw while snorkeling! There was a crowd there – it was a warm day!
– CindyNina Notes: Fantastic Cindy! The warmer summer and warmer lake temps have increased whale activity in the Grand Marais area.
I hope I will see the migration soon
– KatherineNina Notes: We are seeing the whales in the Two Harbors areas now
off Black’s Point in LutsenNina Notes: No beluga's in Lake Superior, they are a type of Right Whale. Nice to hear they are moving up the shore.
There has been an explosion in the population of Great Lakes whales in Lake Michigan. Once, nearly driven to extinction from over-harvesting by the whaling industry in the mid-1800’s, the numbers of the inland cetaceans have seen a dramatic increase in recent years. So much so that it has set off a corollary boom in the popular whale watching cruise boat fleet, which enjoyed full occupancy on most of its vessels and waiting lists for bookings this coming weekend, according to tour boat operators in Wisconsin and western Michigan port cities.
The reason for what marine biologists have termed an “exponential increase,” has been identified as an unintended consequence of moving the Memorial Day holiday from its traditional date of May 30th to the last Monday in May, in order to ensure a 3-day weekend. The annual Spring rut of Great Lakes whales was known to 19th century whalers to coincide with the end of May holiday. Extending estrus to three days has naturally had the results we are now seeing in the population.
The phenomenon has not been witnessed on any other of the Great Lakes, presumably because Lake Michigan is the only one of the five lakes that doesn’t straddle the boarder with Canada. Since Memorial Day is uniquely a U.S. holiday, the impact on the breeding season has been neutralized by interbreeding between U.S. and Canadian whales in those waters.
– Gary Tefft – Menomonee Falls, WI May 27, 2016Nina Notes: Brilliant scientific observations