Gray Whales Have Returned to the Northwest

Grey Whale breaching

Gray Whale breaching

March is the month gray whales make their annual migration up the Pacific coast from their calving grounds off the coast of Mexico to Alaska. Gray whales typically spend several weeks near the San Juan Islands, just north of Puget Sound, feeding on ghost shrimp and other crustaceans. One of the best scuba diving sites to catch a glimpse of a gray whale near Seattle is Alki Junkyard, at the west end of Alki Beach Park.  On the street overlooking the park and water, we have observed gray whales breaching close to shore while on surface interval between scuba dives. Another great dive site to observe gray whales is at Bruce Higgins Underwater Trails (formerly known as Edmonds Underwater Park) in Edmonds, WA. The shallow, muddy bottom just off shore provides great feeding habitat for gray whales to find ghost shrimp.

The west coast population of gray whales is thought to be between 20,000 and 22,000 individuals.