This is a great location to hear the Southern Resident killer whales as they pass through Admiralty Inlet in search of salmon. This can happen any time of year, but is more common in the fall when coho and chum salmon return to Puget Sound rivers.
You will also hear ships bound for the Ports of Seattle and Tacoma, and the ferry that runs between Port Townsend and Whidbey Island. Occasionally we've heard Bigg's orcas and male harbor seals vocalize in the summer months. Can you be the first to hear a gray or humpback whale here?
Two hydrophones were first deployed at a depth of about 7 meters in 2006 underneath the pier that supports aquariums and a teaching classroom. Especially when the tide is low, you can hear the aquarium overflow splashing down on the sea surface. The node is hosted by the Port Townsend Marine Science Center.
Status update 10/15/2023: Only one hydrophone is still working, but we are planning a new deployment with support from WDFW.
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).