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whale breaches on lake superior

whale sightings

Each year we report the movements of the whales on Lake Superior. The reports are sightings sent by residents and visitors along the North Shore of Lake Superior. If you spot whale activity, let us know by filling out the form on the right! We accept photos, too! Confused? see the right hand column [desktop] bottom of page [mobile].

Check out this whale action from April 2023, then explore all the North Shore Activities

Holy cow! A new sighting in Lake Superior!

At Grand Marais Harbor, April 1  😉

Are there really whales in Lake Superior

Get the answer in these articles from the Duluth News-Tribune and Seiche (MN Sea Grant Newsletter).

March 4, 2020

Mega huge whale

There was an amazingly huge whale in Lake Superior! The water came out of the top!! Amazing experience!!!!!!!!!

– a

June 5, 2019

inflatable whale lake superior

Whale of a tale

Saw this whale at Split Rock Lighthouse while hiking yesterday.

– Ian

LSWWS comments: That’s a balloon, Ian.

April 2, 2019

baby whale breaching on lake superior

Spring Activity!

Took this just offshore at Surfside Resort


LSWWS comments: Wow, what a sight!

October 6, 2018

I saw one

We were up for fall colors and hiking Oberg and way out in the distance, you could a water spout. I tried to take a picture with my phone, but no luck. It was a great – fall colors and a whale sighting!


LSWWS comments: Sounds like the perfect fall day. Happy for you!

aerial view of caribou highlands lodge and pool with Lake Superior in background

August 10, 2018

splash from a whale on lake superior with taconite harbor in the background

Summer Splash!

We had pulled down into Taconite Harbor to take in the sights and there she was – SPLASH! It was amazing! Wish the photo was better, but we’ll never forget it! The North Shore rocks!


LSWWS comments: Isn’t it fabulous?!

July 13, 2018

whale back just breaking the surface of lake superior

Foggy Sighting

Spotted this whale briefly between Tofte and Lutsen

– Peggy

LSWWS comments: Excellent!

April 27, 2018


Yes, a whale is what I saw!!

– Bob

LSWWS comments: Bob writes from near Beaver Bay; looks like spring might be here!

April 11, 2018

underwater image drawing

Hmmm, whales in Lake Superior?


– Will

LSWWS comments: Yep!

March 12, 2018


There was a whale in a Lake Superior. I couldn’t believe it. The first thing I saw was the spout of water , then sure enough, up came the back, and finally the tail. It was awesome! I was at the Silver Bay Marina. Check it out if you’re there.

– John

LSWWS comments: Thanks for the report

November 2, 2017

free willy poster

Free Willy

While honey-mooning in Grand Marais with my husband (Zachary) we came upon an unhealthy sight. There were whales in the lake! I don’t know how on earth they got there, but I think they should be freed. This is not a good environment for their well being. Set the Willy’s free.

– Nancy

LSWWS comments: The Lake Superior ecosystem supports a great number of living organisms. Evidence of the variety indicates a healthy habitat.

August 25, 2017

Excellent Sighting In Two Harbors!!!

Look what I saw August 25th!

LSWWS comments: Absolutely outstanding!!

August 15, 2017

tour boat group looking at rock of ages lighthouse at isle royale not seeing whale

Rock of Ages- Orcas feeding

The warm August waters drive Killer Whales to greater depths. We spotted a pack on the Rock of Ages reef. Thanks to Grand Portage Charters for the whale watching tour!

– Clay

LSWWS comments: Sounds like a great charter! FYI – a group of whales is called a pod.

August 2, 2017

three generations of women from iowa pose with a leaping whale lake superior

Iowans Spot Minnesota Killer Whale

We had a special photo bomber while scaling the rocks of Thomsonite Beach.

– Allie

LSWWS comments: Sweet!

August 2, 2017

whale jumping behind family at park point in duluth mn

Just off Park Point!

Just after our picnic, we went down to Park Point beach to build sand castles and enjoy a rare warm Duluth day! I posed with the kids for a photo and my wife got an amazing shot!

– Jim

LSWWS comments: Perfect Summer Day!

July 31, 2017

visitor watching whale breaching in calm waters of east bay lake superior in grand marais

Orca in Grand Marais!!

My wife and I spent our 10th Anniversary in the Grand Marais area this past weekend. The sites and town were beautiful! We had heard of whale sightings in the area, so we decided to spend an evening eating pizza and custard on the roof of Sydney’s and spotted this beauty (and were fortunate enough to get a pic)! We were expecting humpbacks or narwhales, but definitely not an orca! What a wonderful surprise!!

– Matt

LSWWS comments: Love this shot! And Happy Anniversary!

family waterfall bucket list north shore mn
sparkling wintry lake superior and ice sheets stacked on north shore

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