Whale Watching On Lake Michigan

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For the first time ever, Midwestern audiences will have an opportunity to see whales in the wild.

As part of a special partnership between the Sea Watch Conservatory and Great Lakes Awareness Foundation along with a special grant from the Foundation for Oceanographic Awareness, we are pleased to announce the successful importation of a small but thriving whale population in Lake Michigan between Grand Haven and Holland, Michigan.  See red circle on the chart below for information about the general area of the whale barrier and whale location.

For the protection of both the whales and boaters, unauthorized vessels are not allowed in this area as per regulations of the US Corp of Nautical Engineers.

During the summer of 2019 you will have a  once-in-a-generation opportunity to see these beautiful creatures up close thanks to the efforts of Grand Haven Whale Watching.

Your support during our first year will help us expand.  Watch for opportunities to Ride the Whales in September 2019.

85 thoughts on “Whale Watching On Lake Michigan

  1. It is encouraging to see the progress you are making in your whaling ventures. I am concerned that scarce resources may be diverted from my efforts to increase and sustain unicorn habitat.

  2. That is cool that whales are in Grand haven , if I wanted to I could go see a whale because its closer to home.

    • We can not wait to have you back on one of our tours. Every time you have been with us, it has been loads of fun. We hope you are doing well in quarantine.

    • Wow! I love this site, except natural lake whales don’t need salt water because it makes their skin dry and they don’t like that because it makes them have white heads. I highly recommend feeding the whales uranium because it makes their coat shiny. Also, my dog ate a whale one time when we were at the dog beach in Chicago. I was like “WHOAH A WHALE”.
      P.S. my friend molly got eaten by a whale when we stole your boat one night and did a rogue tour. HAS ANYONE SEEN MOLLY? I AM LOOKING FOR MOLLY.

      • Wow, great comment.Proud of you. I want to caress your blow hole

  3. I searched up an artical about it and found the truth. There is a small but thriving whale population! They have found a way to do it!
    As part of a special partnership between the Sea Watch Conservatory and Great Lakes,
    Awareness Foundation along with a special grant from the Foundation for Oceanographic Awareness, we are pleased to announce the successful importation of a small but thriving whale population in Lake Michigan between Grand Haven
    Search it up if you don’t believe me.

  4. This is so FAKE no whale could survive in fresh water. This is just dumb and you are dumb to think wales could live in fresh water.

    • Please reduce the hate. Whales are people too … well, not actually people but they are mammals and that is close enough. Let’s tone down the rhetoric.

    • We have put a lot of thought into this so our whales (coming soon sharks and dolphins) can be as healthy as possible. Every day we add a bit more salt and work for the proper pH. It takes a lot of chemicals but this is the age of better living through chemistry. It is an amazing time we live in. Thanks for your concern. Please come out to see the whales on one of our excursions or safely from shore. Please do NOT attempt to take your own boat out to see the whales. It is simply too risky.

      • Wouldn’t adding salt and the proper PH to the water mess with the fresh water fish? Cause mutations? Because adding chemicals in the water to have whales thrive in an environment that’s not salt water will kill off any grease water fish. It’s like letting a cat lick the hell out of a salt lick and DIE from salt poisoning.

    • Hate is not welcome here. Try to open your mind. Just because you have not seen something with your own eyes does not mean it is not true. Let’s have more love and more open minds.

      • It is great to see people supporting our efforts to bring whales (and soon sharks, dolphins and jellyfish) to the Great Lakes. Please support our efforts by getting a free Grand Haven Whale Watching sticker. Write me at mary@grandhavenwhalewatching.com for details. Please be careful. If you are not going to take one of our excursions, only look for the whales from shore. We highly, highly discourage private boats, swimming, surfing or kiteboarding in the whale areas.

    • What do you mean by fake? Please tone down the hate. Fake is often used as a trigger word by those who are not willing to explore things that are uncomfortable to them. Love the whales and hate the hate. Please be part of the solution. Whales are cool.

  5. Hi Mary!

    I hope that all is well. We are very excited to come up and see you all again this year.

    We are having a tough time the returning this year, as our BlueBird Motorhome Wanderlodge has had a several challenges in the migration back up from Florida. First out air horn broke and would only play our arrival song (Yellow Rose of Texas). Now it is stuck on playing the La Cucaracha and then automatically plays the full length version of Free Bird and we can’t get the air brakes to pressure up. That slick salesman at Holland Motorhomes got me on that upgrade!

    While we are stuck in Jacksonville, we did find what appears to be one of Lyle’s old boats from the water ski show. With a little paint,might be a good addition to your fleet! If you wan to wire me the money I can pick it up on te way.


    Looking Forward to seeing you soon!

    Freddie and Deloris

    • Hello Freddie and Deloris,

      It is good to hear from you. I am sorry that Mary is not available. She is at helping to reinstall the catwalk on the Grand Haven pier today. I look forward to hearing that horn once you make it up this way. We are looking for a musical horn for the S.S. Guppy. If you are interested in selling the horn, let us know. We could set up a trade for two tickets for our test cruise at 2:00 a.m. on June 1. We are making the early morning run to avoid getting stopped by the Ottawa County Marine Patrol. They seem to have it out for us ever since they heard that some of our guests end up having to bail during some of our cruises.

    • We would love to have you join us on one of our salting expeditions. During these special tours we allow guests to be part of the salting process. Please contact our office to reserve your spot.

  6. Today in the Wall Street Journal, “Is that Whale a Russian Agent? The Beluga Isn’t Saying” describes the real world threat of Russian’s attaching devices to whales to spy on other countries.

    What actions are you taking to make sure that your whales are not covert Russian operatives?

    Is it just Beluga’s that fall prey to these practices?

    Can any whales be trusted!??!!

    • Thanks for your question. We are watching this story carefully. While we do not feel there is a real threat from Russia, we are concerned that Wisconsin may try to infiltrate our herd in an effort to better understand what is happening on the happy side of the lake. We can not fully disclose our counter efforts, but we do take the threat from Wisconsin very seriously. If you have any direct questions about how we are fighting off this misuse of marine life, feel free to email our newly hired director of marine counter intelligence Vladimir Горбунков Brezhnev. He is leading our efforts and has assured us there is nothing to worry about related to Russia. He says just keep your attention on Wisconsin.

  7. Hi Mary and Joey!

    The T-CCCA (Tri-Cities Chamber of Concierge Association) would like to thank you for the Friday Night mixer and sample tour last weekend. While I did pick up a little rash (not sure if it was a flare up from our younger days at the Lucky 7 Bay Beach Club, or from petting the whale), it was truly a thrill and worth the shot at the Not-So Urgent Care Center at NOCK.

    Can you sign me up for your referal program? As a member of the T-CCCA, I would love to refer all of my guests to this wonderful attraction! My plan would be to replace the Saw Mill locations of Grand Haven, The Water Tank Hill Climb and Ghost Tours of Central Park excursion with yours as it really has something for everyone.

    It was exciting to hear about your plans for your entry in the Coast Guard Festivities Parade. Your ideas of a retired Macy’s Ballon floating a whale down Washington St…..WOW!! I hope you get that permit from the FAA!

    Also,please send me some more brosures!!

    • Mary and Joey are not available this week, so I am answering your post on their behalf.

      While we would love to send you some brochures, you forgot to include your email address. It sounds like you are just the type of person we would love to work with.

    • Hello Liam,

      Thanks for taking time to write. Let me start off by saying I don’t think I am your bruh.

      Why do you think this site is fake? Please don’t be a hater. It is better to have an open mind and understand that not everything you learned in school is always correct. Keep your mind and heart open and find your way to understanding that whales have a real place in our society and in our precious Lake Michigan. I hope you will find it in your hear to believe.

    • Please don’t be so closed minded. I assume you also think the Village of Spring Lake’s Facebook page is fake as well?

    • You rode the whales in your library class? We would love to see pictures. Please send them along and we will try to post our favorites here. Thanks for taking time to ride the whales with your library class.

    • It is great to hear from you. We also love our whales. While we raise our Lake Michigan Whales primarily for educational purposes, we plan to increase our herd to a size where we can start supplying whale nuggets and whale steaks for sale at the new Norm’s Ice Cream stand on the east side of town. If you know of anyone at Butch’s, we are trying to reach them to talk about offering a Whale Burrito. Unfortunately, they won’t return our calls.

    • Please don’t. Watch them, pet them, love them … but don’t slap them.

  8. Just wondering about the bucket seats. Do they come with popcorn and root beer?

    • We are pleased to offer a wide selection of root beer. Options include: DAD’s, Fanta, Hires and Town Club.

      As for popcorn, we had to eliminate popcorn from tour. Unfortunately, we found the butter was an irritant to whale skin. We have decided to replace popcorn with chocolate covered pretzels from the new Miss Lisa’s ice cream stand in Ferrysburg.

  9. While I have yet to take a tour, I find the site interesting. Do you think that global warming has helped the whales settle in Lake Michigan?

    • I am sorry, we are not familiar with the phrase “global warming”. However, we can tell you that GHWW is actively asking parents to not let their kids pee in the lake while they are swimming. We are concerned the number of swimmers at the Grand Haven State Park beach last year caused a slight increase in the water temperature resulting in additional moodiness among the male whales.

      We are glad you find our site interesting and hope you will join one of our tours soon. We hope to have all of our excursion vessels patched and ready to go by June. The biggest problem is finding enough unemployed welders. We are hoping for an economic downturn that will result in more available skilled laborers.

  10. We were able to join a tour last minute and it did not disappoint! The tour guide was very knowledgeable and made the whole trip enjoyable. I was a little put off by the boat patch work and glad that we did not sit in the back (the “bucket” seats… Where you’re in charge of a bucket to drain water from the boat). Regardless of what anyone says, the good outweighs the bad – how many other chances will you get to see whales in lake Michigan?! My husband and I were able to row the boat both in lake and out, I didn’t have to do arm work outs for a month! The kids especially liked the tubes for riding in that were tied to the back of the boat!

    • It was a pleasure having you on board. Nice comments like your message here makes it all worth it.

      We hope you will be able to join us again later this year. We are thinking about adding alligators and tuna to the tour.

  11. As a chemist I am more than aware of the differences in densities between ocean water (1.02g/mL) and fresh water (1.00g/mL). Whales in fresh water are heavier in comparison to whales in salt water. This difference requires whales to hold more air in their lungs to maintain neutral buoyancy which has numerous health benefits for them. I imagine this is why Moby is as long lived as he his. Could someone remind me of his birthday and age?

    • Hello Dab,

      You sound like just the sort of person we are looking to for. We have been trying to get our whales to hold more air in their lungs without much success. We would like to start a respiratory therapy program for our fresh water whales in partnership with the Michigan State University vet program.

      • Awesome idea Mary! I might even consider coming out of retirement to teach in this program!

  12. Thanks so much Chris for the tour. It was amazing to see the humpbacks and killer whales. Who knew just a few miles off Grand Haven beach there is so much going on in the whale world?? I will send all my friends and family

  13. I just want to thank your organization for giving me and my family a truly life changing experience. I never though that I would be able to show my little girl the whales, but thanks to you i was able to for fill her dreams. the price was so reasonable, and everyone was so nice. thank you.

    • Frank,
      We loved having your family join us. While we regret the leak during your trip, we appreciate your good attitude as you and your family swam toward shore. It is our hope the experience was even a greater adventure because of this situation.

  14. Nice freakin try, if you guys did your research whales could never live in lake michigan.

    • You seem to have a lot of knowledge about the topic. Are you an oceanographer? Please consider joining our team. You can find out more information about available openings by visiting the Staff Directory under the About Us menu item.

    • What makes you think so? Are you an oceanographer? In any case, thanks for your comments and we look forward to seeing you on one of our future tours. Please join us soon.

  15. what kind of joke is this? are you trying to put a sea world in lake michigan…..Don’t even go there!!!!

  16. I would love more information…are these beluga whales, how will they be kept in one area, what will they eat, etc.
    thank you.

    • Great questions. These whales are big ones. For legal reasons, we can not tell you the exact species. The best way to find out is to come to join us on one of our tours. Once we get all of the holes repaired in our boats we will be ready to start tours again. Be sure to spread the word and be part of this great new adventure.

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