Gone fishing

It seems that the groups who’ve arrived so far (A36s with A12, A8s, A11s) have been finding it easier to be in Nodales Channel, in the far eastern reaches of Johnstone Strait, than in our immediate vicinity.  This is a pattern we’ve seen frequently in the last few years, and think it reflects the general fish (salmon) situation, and in particular the situation for spring salmon, the orcas’ preferred food.  From what we hear, there are lots of springs being caught by sports fishers in Nodales Channel, and though springs are being caught around here too, the balance seems to favour Nodales for the moment.

Last night, the A8s & A11s made their way west in Johnstone Strait, arriving in the Ecological Reserve at Robson Bight around 4am.  Soon after, they were joined by the A36s & A12.  From the echolocation we heard, they were foraging energetically in the Bight for a couple of hours, but a bit before 6am they were headed back to the east again.  It won’t be a surprise to hear later today that they’re back in Nodales.

While we wait for the orcas to settle into a summer routine in our part of Johnstone Strait, we’ve been enjoying the presence of humpbacks who are using Blackney Pass, their huge misty breaths hanging high in the air long after they dive.   Quite often they’ve been making their way into Johnstone Strait and then back into Blackney again, so their presence is almost a constant.  Quite lovely.

It may be that more orcas will arrive soon, as we’ve heard (from a cruise ship sighting) that a large group of orcas is spread out around Pine Island, generally heading east.  So we may have more news later today.  If the newcomers do arrive, it will be interesting to see whether they end up in Nodales too!

Audio recording of A8s foraging in Robson Bight on July 9th:

A5 CRPT 7.9.10 @ 1730 (4)

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