Frederick Sound Alaska | Whale Watching

There is a theory about natural beauty, that says we may react to it because our minds and spirits are shaped by the world around us, the world and the mind are mirror images of each other.
So it is with hearing the whale song for the first time, or even, for the thousandth time.
Captains on the ships who take visitors out say that it is not in the least uncommon to see them break into tears at the haunting call of the whales.
To hear a sound that they cannot understand and cannot emulate, and be reduced to that same primal emotion that they might be when hearing a sad song.
Seeing these magnificent animals up close, hearing the songs that seem to echo through you producing an ache with their beauty is so much more powerful, so vastly unique that the recordings of them simply can’t begin to compare to it.

There are an estimated six thousand humpback whales that make their home in the North Pacific, and over a thousand of them feed off the coast of South Eastern Alaska in the summertime.
Of that number, over half of those enter the Fredericks sound area for the summertime, feeding there on the  herring and the krill that are so abundant and thrive so well in the waters of the sound.
Frederick sound is one of the best environments in the entire world for studying and observing the feeding habits of the humpback.

Aside from watching whales on your visit to Fredericks Bay Alaska, you can also look forward to stellar’s sea lions, to the dall porpoise, and the many orca’s which inhabit the area, as well as harbor seals.

Below, are notes and quotes from the Fredericks Bay Residents and Wildlife enforcement which will help to guide you on your adventure.

Viewing Opportunities: Humpback whales are the main attraction, but the other marine mammals and sea birds add to the enchantment of the area.  Humpback whales are present in the area year-round, with the best viewing opportunities during July and August. The whales move into the area from the open ocean and are more frequently observed in the westernmost portions of the viewing area earlier in the summer.  By mid to late summer, the distribution is determined more by food abundance than by the time of the season. In general, humpback whales are present along the north Kupreanof Island shore during periods of large tidal range, and in lower Stephens Passage when the tides are smaller.

Most Orcas observed in this area are part of a resident Southeast Alaska population and are present year-round.  Dall’s porpoise are present in large numbers only during the summer months. Orcas and Dall’s porpoise range freely throughout the area pursuing food and do not follow a predictable pattern.

Caution: All marine mammals are protected by Federal law and are covered under the Alaska Marine Mammal Viewing Guidelines published by the National Marine Fisheries Service.  The Marine Mammal Viewing “Code of Conduct” includes the following provision:

Remain at least 100 yards from marine mammals.
Time spent observing individuals should be limited to ½ hour.
Whales should not be encircled or trapped between boats, or between boats and shore.
If approached by a whale, put the engine in neutral and allow the whale to pass. Any boat movement should be from the rear of the animal.

Pursuit of marine mammals and any activity that causes a marine animal to modify its behavior (harassment) are prohibited by law.  It is also illegal to feed any marine mammal. Keep in mind that whales and other marine mammals are large, wild animals and are potentially dangerous, particularly to small vessels. Following the above guidelines will make your viewing a safe and valuable experience while showing respect for the animals.

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