Watchable Wildlife

Timing and patience are two of the most important factors to a successful wildlife watching trip. Keep these tips in mind for a rewarding experience.

Wildlife Watching Tips
• Plan your trip according to the season, tidal phase, and time of day.
• Remember that wildlife is more active in the mornings and early evenings than in the afternoon.
• Noise travels easily across water. Keep voices down when approaching a viewing area to avoid scaring wildlife away before you arrive.
• Use binoculars and spotting scopes to bring animals “closer” to you without disturbing them.
• Bring a field guide to help identify species.
• Avoid disturbing wildlife, maintain the required 200 yard buffer from shore.

Be Part of the Solution
State and Federal laws protect seabirds and other marine life from disturbance and harassment.
• Stay 200 yards from shore.
• Steer your boat (including jet skis and kayaks) around bird flocks, not through them.
• Never feed or touch wildlife.
• Try to observe wildlife without them observing you.
• Weight fishing lines to avoid hooking seabirds.
• Recycle or dispose responsibly of fishing hooks and monofilament lines.
• Pack out your trash.
• Report stranded marine mammals to the Northwest Marine Mammal Stranding Hotline at 1-866-767-6114.
• Special rules apply when observing whales in inland Washington waters. Find a complete set of guidelines for marine wildlife at Be Whale Wise.