Bush Point

This is a great place to listen for the Southern Resident killer whales who pass through Admiralty Inlet about once a month in search of salmon. Other common sounds here come from ships heading to and from the Ports of Seattle and Tacoma, and recreational vessels using the adjacent boat ramp.

A hydrophone system designed by Lon Brocklehurst and Ken Balcomb was deployed in 2018, with 3 elements deployed 200m offshore at a depth of 16.5m by diver Florian Grainer. After only a month, the long cable failed. Since then, 1-2 hydrophones have been deployed at the base of the deepest pilings. Their depth is only ~1m, so they dry at some negative tides and you may then hear seabird sounds!

The Bush Point node is hosted by Orca Network with logistical support from Bush Point Wharf and financial support from WhidbeyTel (Internet service and monetary donations).

Status update 11/16/2023: Thanks to Trevor Snow of Orca Network supported by WhidbeyTel, the Bush Point hydrophone system has been overhauled with new equipment funded by WDFW (see below). The wharf was badly damaged over the winter of 2022-23 and repairs will likely enable a deeper deployment in 2024.

Learn more about the Bush Point node

A 2023 upgrade to this node was funded by Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife through The Department of Ecology’s Equipment Grant program to improve location detection of Southern Resident Killer Whales and other marine mammals during oil spills (SPPREG-2123-WaSDFW-00025).


Bush Point