Transient orcas spotted off Vashon

Multiple groups of transient killer whales were spotted in the waters off Vashon Island Friday, according to the Vashon Hydrophone Project’s Ann Stateler (“Orca Annie”).

Reached Monday, she said Friday’s orcas were “a unique encounter” because there were at least two different groups in the area, including one, the T-68s, that passed by the island twice and are rarely seen in the Salish Sea.

“We had never seen them in Puget Sound before,” Stateler said.

Another group seen from the island were the T-101s, who also spend most of their time farther north in the San Juans or Canada. Stateler said the whales may have been trying to escape the boat noise in the Sound as Friday was a sunny day and many people were out boating. She urged islanders to call NOAA at 1-800-853-1964 if they witness whale harassment.