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Readers Want to Know

Photo-shopped by Chris J. Benson.

Question:

I was told that on occasion, there have been small whales seen in Lake Superior. Is that correct?

Answer:

No. There are no whales in Lake Superior, big or small.

The rumor about whales in Lake Superior started a few years ago in Grand Marais, Minn., where the long winters seem to induce all sorts of amusing endeavors. Inspired by a friendís artwork of Greenland cetaceans, author Nina Simonowicz, the wag, loaded a new page on the NorthShoreVisitor.com Web site she maintains. According to Simonowicz, Freshwater Whale Watching Along the North Shore attracted 12,000 visitors and 44 comments in 2010.

Reports of whales in Lake Michigan are also patently untrue.

The truth: There are no whales, no dolphins or sharks, and no squid in the Great Lakes.

However, there are some creatures in our freshwater seas with oceanic counterparts. If you know where and when to look, you can find freshwater jellyfish, freshwater sponges, and freshwater shrimp (distantly related to edible shrimp) in Lake Superior.

For a laugh, fire up the Internet and visit Freshwater Whale Watching Along the North Shore at www.northshorevisitor.com/activities/whale-watching/.


By Sea Grant Staff
December 2010

Return to December 2010 Seiche



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