OLYMPIA – With summer approaching, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is reminding recreational boaters to give orca whales and other marine mammals a wide berth.
State law requires boaters to stay at least 100 yards away from southern resident orca whales. Boaters who unexpectedly come into closer proximity to an orca are required to stop immediately and allow the whales to pass.
These and other state regulations apply to a variety of small watercraft, including tour boats, private powerboats, sailboats, kayaks, canoes and personal floatation devices.
Federal law also includes broad restrictions against disturbing or harassing any marine mammal, said Mike Cenci, WDFW’s deputy chief of enforcement.