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.