2019 Whales and Wildlife Update
Recently, Johnstone Strait has been experiencing short winter storms with gale force winds from the Southeast then back winding to the Northwest. This is a time of cleansing for the entire area. The wind ensure that weak trees will fall and strong trees will remain in place. It ensure that we should not have any trees fall on us during the summer. The beaches are subject to high tides that exceed the mid monthly mark and cause new logs to rest on the many beaches we use during the four months of summer in the JS area.
Most whales stay in deep water during the winter, however the ever present transient (Bigg’s Whales) are always looking for a meal in places where seals and sealions have rookeries. Orca lab keeps us all in the loop with what Orca and other species of whales pass by during the winter months. For the most part it has been a mild winter. It may be an early Spring with a few surprise storms in the mix but overall mild weather will lend itself to even warmer weather during April and May.
So, summer should be a stable one for 2019 with many days of whales and a myraid of wildlife in sight.
Winter snowpack in the mountains is MARGINAL this year, 2018. Why does this matter. Well, history has shown that when we have a MARGINAL snowpack in the coastal mountains we get a MARGINAL flow of water in rivers all summer. This means less fish can go to rivers sooner and consequently less salmon show up in Johnstone Strait attracting Pods of Orca showing to chase the salmon. Often when the winters are milder and provide lots of rainfall, our corresponding summers are calm and hot, some days even very hot.
UPDATES 2019: The winter activities for Orca has been reported further North in the Klemtu Area. Transient (Biggs Whales) have been viewed in the early season by whale watcher is Campbell River. Seems to be a large number of seals and sea lions hanging around the shorelines where the herring balls are significant. Update will be given at the end of the April.
2018….As of May 15th we now have (6) six humpback whales, one with playful calf, dozens of Dalls Propoise and a passing of fourteen transient orca looking for seal pups. Eagles, herons and diving ducks are all showing increasing numbers. Weather is very sunny but I fear we will pay for this sometime in June. And June was an above average month for rain!
This early Spring we have had our first sighting in years of a sperm whale is the waters around Hansen Island. We expect that the number of humpback whales will increase this summer if the projection for feed is correct. We are always amazed by the return of resident orca pods to the Strait. The baby orcas are few but remain an inspiration to all of us.
This summer will be a large run of one of species of salmon and therefore all predators that eat salmon will also show up in large numbers. So wildlife viewing should be great. Our kayak destinations might have a few more logs on the rugged beaches due to the winter storms but the higher tides will cause beaches to cleanse themselves.
All and all should be a super summer. Your invited!
It is shaping up to be a great summer! This season started with the sighting of several humpback whales, coming in to the area earlier than usual to the waters of Johnstone Strait and Blackfish Sound.
Orcalab have reported the whales have been quite active this winter. They have been recording vocalizations of passing whales in the immediate area off the lab in Blackfish Sound.
Orca pods, A24’s and A25’s were reported in the area during early January 2016.
Jared Towers from MERS reported transient Orcas in the area off Alert Bay during December. The whales were hunting most of the time he observed them.
Whale activity in the Southern Pods seems to be in a state of recovery with numerous new calves reported monthly. This is great news for the Southern Pod numbers.
A recent video on YouTube shows Southern Pod Whales visiting a nearby beach off Vancouver Island where they choose to play along the shoreline for an hour or more.
These are usual Orca behaviours rarely caught on camera or cell phone.
Check it out on YouTube or at our Facebook Page, “Discovery Orca Sea Kayaking Expeditions.”
Over the past years we have experienced everything known to folks in the paddling community. The picture of this two-year-old black bear at the launch ramp in Telegraph Cove Resorts reminds us all that wildlife is everywhere, so keep your eyes and ears open!
This bear’s appearance was a great start to another group’s memorable trip in Johnstone Strait.
For the past two summers, we have had the pleasure of seeing one lone male sea otter frequent the waters of Blackfish Sound and Queen Charlotte Sound. He appears when you least expect it, most often alone.
This is a great sign for the future for our area. What would be better is to have a female sea otter move into one of the islets off Spring Passage and start a family.Our groups are constantly on alert to see more of these furry guys and girls in our waters for 2016.