North San Juan Channel

This an ideal location for hearing sounds made by orcas, humpbacks, and other marine life -- including fish. Bigg's killer whales frequent this location year round, and Southern Resident killer whales have been regularly transiting San Juan Channel in recent years from October-March. You may also hear the inter-island ferry and other sources of vessel noise.

A single CRT SQ26-08 hydrophone was first deployed in spring 2023 at a depth of 5-10 meters. The hydrophone is hosted and maintained by the Orca Behavior Institute. The closest public access for viewing the area is Reuben Tarte County Park.

Status updates: 6/10/24: new 60-m CRT-40 hydrophone deployed, deeper and with electronics further from the intertidal! 12/6/23: system failure due to less-than-waterproof box, so A-team is planning a spring redeployment. 10/25/2023: The A-team has replaced the hydrophone that failed in early October. The first one, installed by SCUBA diver David Howitt, was a single CRT SQ26-08 that lasted about 6 months (April-October).

This node was funded in 2023 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).


North San Juan Channel