Whale Sightings

 

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!

Check out this whale action from April 1, 2018:

Click the thumbnail to see a larger image.

GREAT LAKES WHALE ORIGINALLY ON WISCONSIN STATE FLAG

A Great Lakes whale was depicted directly above the shield on the design of the flag adopted by the Wisconsin Territorial Legislature in anticipation of being granted statehood. To the left of the shield stands a seaman, more specifically, a whaler, holding a hank of rope. (Great Lakes whaling, of course, was practiced by the more humane method of lassoing, rather than employing the cruel practice of harpooning, as was traditionally done in marine whaling.)

In those days, the lead mining interests in the Southwestern corner of the state, represented by the miner standing to the right of the shield, held much sway in the Legislature and, with the help of wealthy owners of the logging industry up North, were able to get the whale replaced by a badger in the design approved in the first session after Wisconsin was admitted into the Union in 1848. The representatives of the mining and logging interests expressed concern that sooner or later Wisconsin would have a University and their sports teams might become known as the Whales.

The motivation for seeking to replace the image of the whale was rooted more in a desire to maintain domestic tranquility than in a fight over “naming rights” to sports teams, however. It’s well known that the occurrence of obesity among 19th century women was no more prominent than in logging camps, where the phrase, “Eats like a lumberjack” was applied to the women who did the cooking. In what has become known as “The Two-by-Four Compromise,” a figure of a badger was substituted for the whale. Curiously, the flag carries no depiction representing a logger; or does it? In the parlance of the day, someone avoiding an issue was compared to a badger scurrying into its burrow. Meeting minutes from early legislative committee hearings suggest that the logging interests were satisfied in not having to convince their wives that the whale on the flag wasn’t a furtive reference to their figures.

– Gary Tefft – Menomonee Falls, WI May 27, 2016

Nina Notes: Thanks for the history Gary!

whale spotted

We saw the whales from afar and sure enough there was one!

– Amanda

Cold Water Jelly Fish

 

This jelly was seen digesting a dock near Grand Marais MN.

– David

Nina Notes: Way to capture the beast in action, David!

Hate to be rude but…

I’m pretty sure there’s no such thing as whales or narwhals in the Great Lakes…. Cuz it’s freshwater…
Isn’t everyone just trolling?

– Kate

Nina Notes: "Just my imagination, running away with me." Norman Whitfield & Barrett Strong

so beautiful!

The whales and narwhals swimming across the lake toward shore is an amazing sight to see!

– Tom

Believe

I’m a believer

– Bob

Excellent Viewing 1st Week of September!

The fall freshwater whale migration patterns are expected to change and move much closer shore due to this lunar phenomena .Viewing is expected to be exceptional the first week of September.

Greg M

Narwahl

While I was disappointed that I didn’t see any humpback whales, I did spot a fine looking Narwhal. Wouldn’t have believed it unless I saw it with my own two eyes.

– Sam

Whales !

We were walking down the rock beach in Little Marais and it was evening and we saw a whale breach the water but didn’t have our phones on us to take a picture ! It was beautiful ! And then we saw a baby it was so cool !

– Matt

A pod playing in a laker’s wake.

We brought our whale pointing lab Pauly with us this spring. He spotted a pod playing in the wake of a laker at the Silver Cliff Tunnel wayside. Of course with our luck and the fog and haze they didn’t show up in the picture.

Jeff , Sue and Pauly the whale spotting lab.

La Crosse, WI

1970s Sighting

“Reminiscing about past Mother’s Day and found this photo from a drive we took up the shore Mother’s Day 1972. Going to have come back up and look for whales.”

Linda

split-rock-mermaid

Nina Notes: Wow!

Whale Tagging on Minnesota’s North Shore of Lake Superior

At the prime State Park on the North Shore to view fresh water whales; partaking in the State of Minnesota’s whale stocking program in Lake Superior.

– Richard B & Gary H

Nina Notes: Outstanding in every way!

This is Complete BS :: Of Validity and Narwhals

This sight is completely fake, whales cannot live in fresh water conditions. also, if you can’t see the photo shop in this than you are probably blind. There is no such thing as narwhals, they are a pokimon. anyone who gives money to this person is many the stupidest person alive. Last thing, the picture on the from of the web page is a pice of drift wood.
Dominic D

Nina suggests the following Narwhal links
World Wildlife Federation
National Geographic 

Wikipedia

Nina Notes: might want to read the two articles on the right

Duluth Harbor

“I love getting up early with my boys to catch the narwhal migration along the shore.”

Dean B

15Narwhal_Duluth

Nina Notes: outstanding!

Narwhal Migration

north shore narwhal\

I love getting up early with my boys to catch the narwhal migration along the shore.”

Dean B

Nina Notes: excellent!