August 8, 2013 | Vol. 39, No. 32

Whale Watchers view hundreds of humpbacks in Frederick Sound

The same warm summer weather that killed 1,000 King salmon two weeks ago in Blind Slough is also contributing to a larger than average presence of humpback whales in Frederick Sound.

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Ron Loesch
Humpback whales breached repeatedly along the shoreline of Frederick Sound during recent weeks. Abundant krill has attracted large numbers of humpbacks to the Sound this summer.

Barry Bracken, retired whale tour guide and marine biologist, said the sunlight warming the sound produces a large phytoplankton bloom last spring.

“And that’s what started the chain reaction for the krill,” Bracken said.

Krill feed on phytoplankton. Because the plankton population increased, so did krill numbers. That string of events contributed to whales gorging themselves at the Frederick Sound all-yo...

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