If you see a marine mammal at a Whale Trail site, please tell us about it! Share your stories, pictures, or video with us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or through our online submission form. 


If you see orcas, it is important to also report your sighting to a sightings network.

  • In Washington State, report your orca sightings to Orca Network.
  • In Canada, report your orca sightings to the B.C. Cetacean Sighting network.

These organizations will ensure that your sightings are sent to the agencies responsible for managing the orca populations.

What information should be included in your sightings report?

  • Date and time of sighting
  • Type of animal (or best guess)
  • Number of animals (how many do you see?)
  • Direction of travel (which way are they going?)
  • Behaviors (what are they doing?)
  • Include a photo!

How your sightings help?

While the southern resident orcas are one of the most highly studied populations of animals in the world, most of what we know is based on observing them in the summer months.

  • From October to February, we know they return to central Puget Sound approximately 5 – 7 times a month. But where they otherwise go is largely still unknown.
  • By sharing your sighting with the networks, you will play a vital role in the research and management that will lead, we hope, to a fully recovered orca population.


If an animal appears sick, distressed or stranded, contact your local Marine Mammal Stranding Network. NOAA Fisheries trains and manages the stranding networks in the United States.

  • The Northwest Stranding Network members are listed here.
  • For a nationwide list, click here.


View our guide on how to watch marine animals from shore.


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