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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).

July 28, 2015

narwahl with corkscrew tusk rises from water


While I was disappointed that I didn’t see any humpback whales, I did spot a fine looking Narwhal. Wouldn’t have believed it unless I saw it with my own two eyes.

– Sam

LSWWS comments: Sam, you are lucky! Not many narwahl sightings and fewer photos. Thanks for sharing!

July 5, 2015

Whale sighting North Shore

We were walking down the rock beach in Little Marais and it was evening and we saw a whale breach the water but didn’t have our phones on us to take a picture ! It was beautiful ! And then we saw a baby it was so cool !

– Matt

LSWWS comments: We appreciate the report, with or without photos.

June 8, 2015

man in whale watching t-shirt and lab on lake superior shore

A pod playing in a laker’s wake

We brought our whale pointing lab Pauly with us this spring. He spotted a pod playing in the wake of a laker at the Silver Cliff Tunnel wayside. Of course with our luck and the fog and haze they didn’t show up in the picture.

Jeff , Sue and Pauly, the whale spotting lab

La Crosse, WI

May 11, 2015

split rock mermaid

1970s Sighting

“Reminiscing about past Mother’s Day and found this photo from a drive we took up the shore Mother’s Day 1972. Going to have come back up and look for whales.”


LSWWS comments: Wow!

April 29, 2015

minnesota dnr tagging whales on lake superior

Whale Tagging on Minnesota’s North Shore of Lake Superior

At the prime State Park on the North Shore to view fresh water whales; partaking in the State of Minnesota’s whale stocking program in Lake Superior.

– Richard B & Gary H

LSWWS comments: Outstanding in every way!

April 3, 2015

polar bear along brighton beach lake superior

Brighton Beach near Duluth

I thought you and the viewers of your fantastic website may find this photo interesting. I am guessing since the whales moved into Lake Superior a number of years ago it was only time before the bears followed.

Best wishes,


LSWWS comments: Compliment me and I’ll post anything.

February 11, 2015

2 Cents Worth

“This sight is faker than a 3 dollar bill don’t trust it!”

Austin E, Wayne, IN

LSWWS comments: Austin and other skeptics should read the articles under the box titled “Confused?”

September 30, 2014

calm waters showcase whale tail underwater and back just breaking surface of lake superior

Lake Superior Bay Ontario

Caught a glimpse of this one in an Ontario bay last fall

Max S, Houghton, MI

LSWWS comments: What a beauty!

September 14, 2014

two excited women point out whale jumping from lake superior

We Saw Them!

A colleague took this shot on the Manitou Island ferry this weekend, heading back from North Manitou. My adviser thinks it was a female Megaptera boreas!

Laura Fischer
Forestry Wildlife and Fisheries
Michigan State University

LSWWS comments: Megaptera boreas is a Humpback whale

August 7, 2014

man in whale watching t-shirt points them out

Andy Saw Them!

Andy found a whale today in MN when we were paddle-boarding so I thought I would share these fun photos. Enjoy! Andy claims he saw a whale in Lake Owwaso today. I would call him an official Fresh Water Whale Watcher.

Chrissy, Minneapolis MN

LSWWS comments: I love to see our members in the field in their LSWWS gear!

July 4, 2014

soo locks

Eastern edge of Lake Superior

It’s too damn cold. I bet the whales are all stacked by the Soo trying to stay warm. Water temps are still 38-42

Dale H

LSWWS comments: Dale is referring to the locks at Sault Ste Marie separating Michigan and Ontario

June 27, 2014

whale splash lake superior


Pretty sure this was a whale. Was by Judge Magney State Park.


LSWWS comments: Pretty sure you’re right!

skaters on ice rink in front of gunflint lodge

June 23, 2014

boy in skeleton jacket pointing to whale

Split Rock Lighthouse Whale Sighting

While taking the typical tourist photos at split rock lighthouse wayside, my grandson saw two surface. Of course by the time I got the camera turned and zoomed out onto the lake they were long gone.

Jeff and Sue, La Crosse, WI, featuring super spotter Dameon

LSWWS comments: You are a bona fide spotter Dameon!

June 21, 2014

whale near big bay lake superior's north shore

Big Bay, Big Whale

We thought we saw something in the water, joked it was a whale . . . and then it was! We think it was by itself. It barely broke the surface, but we did get this shot.

Anderson Clan

LSWWS comments: Nice! (note: Big Bay is northeast of Grand Marais)

clearwater historic lodge on gunflint trail northern lights
sparkling wintry lake superior and ice sheets stacked on north shore

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