Environment

Watch orcas, dolphins and humpback whales make some waves near Morro Bay

It’s nearly prime time for whale watching on the Central Coast.

Tour groups have already caught glimpses of marine mammals gallivanting through the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Morro Bay.

Sub Sea Tours and Morro Bay Whale Watching, based on the Embarcadero in Morro Bay, captured videos over a three-day period of whales and dolphins jumping, swimming and blowing water near Morro Rock.

“We’re in that transition right now where the water temperature is changing,” said Kevin Winfield, whose company offers the tours. “We’re starting to see more feed in the area.”

Humpback whales migrate through the waters of the Central Coast, which is part of their northern feeding grounds, Winfield said.

Tour groups spotted dolphins and humpback whales on Tuesday, according to a post on Morro Bay Whale Watching’s Facebook page.

On Wednesday, at least one tour group caught glimpses of six to eight orcas, also known as killer whales, traveling through the area, according to the Facebook page.

Orcas aren’t as common as humpback and gray whales, he said. They only appear off the Central Coast a few times a year.

“They’re just traveling through,” he said.

Fishermen recently saw some orcas farther north, near Piedras Blancas, and the whales made an appearance near Monterey as well, he said.

Various types of dolphins will also be visible heading into the warmer months, Winfield said.

“We’re hoping for a great summer,” he said.

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Lindsey Holden writes about housing, North County communities and everything in between for The Tribune in San Luis Obispo. She became a staff writer in 2016 after working for the Rockford Register Star in Illinois. Lindsey is a native Californian raised in the Midwest and earned degrees from DePaul and Northwestern universities.
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