Guide to Whale Watching in Washington

In Seattle, when we think “whale,” we usually mean “orca.” But local whale watching isn’t actually about spotting our famed southern resident killer whales, the three pods of salmon-eating cetaceans that were decimated first by capture in the 1970s (including the late Tokitae, or Lolita) and then by dwindling fish populations. Washington state laws limit viewing of the SRKW to only a few hours a day, only a few boats at a time, and only during a few months of the year; in 2025 the legal viewing distance will stretch to 1,000 yards, a nautical half mile away.

So does that mean an end to orca spotting? Not at

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