Gray whale found dead in Clam Gulch, 4th in Alaska so far this year

Biologists have been waiting for a minus tide to reach the whale so they can perform a necropsy

Gray whale found dead in Clam Gulch, 4th in Alaska so far this year

A gray whale was found dead near Clam Gulch late Thursday. It’s the fourth gray whale found dead in Alaska and the second gray whale found dead in Cook Inlet this year.

The cause of death is still unknown. Since Monday, a team of biologists have been waiting for a minus tide to reach the whale so they can perform a necropsy, Julie Speegle, public affairs officer with the Alaska regional office of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said.

The Clam Gulch whale is the most recent in a series of whale beachings this month, including one spotted last week near Kodiak, one near Cordova two weeks ago and one in Turnagain Arm earlier in May. Last month, a young humpback whale was stranded twice on the shores of Turnagain Arm.

Speegle said for the last 18 years, between January and May, normal records have indicated between zero and three gray whale deaths a year.

“We’re slightly above that now,” Speegle said.

Speegle said the whale was a sub-adult, or not fully an adult, and is estimated to be between 20 and 24 feet long.

More in News

COVID-19 (Image courtesy CDC)
State reports 3 more COVID deaths, more than 900 cases

The newly reported deaths push Alaska’s total to 594 COVID fatalities since the beginning of the pandemic.

In this July 1908 photograph provided by the U.S. Coast Guard Historian’s Office, the U.S. Revenue Cutter Bear sits at anchor while on Bering Sea Patrol off Alaska. The wreckage of the storied vessel, that served in two World Wars and patrolled frigid Arctic waters for decades, has been found, the Coast Guard said Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021. (U.S. Coast Guard Historian’s Office via AP)
Coast Guard: Wreck found in Atlantic is storied cutter Bear

The ship performed patrols in waters off Alaska for decades.

The Federal Aviation Administration released an initiative to improve flight safety in Alaska for all aviation on Oct. 14, 2021. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File)
FAA releases Alaska aviation safety initiatives

The recommendations, covering five areas, range from improvements in hardware to data-gathering.

Kyle Kornelis speaks at a public meeting about the Runway 7-25 Rehabilitation Project on Tuesday, May 4, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Soldotna airport unveils revamped runway

Runway 7-25 was temporarily closed earlier this year while it underwent renovations.

Alaska Redistricting Board Director Peter Torkelson speaks at a redistricting open house on Thursday, Oct. 14, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Alaska Redistricting Board Director Peter Torkelson speaks at a redistricting open house on Thursday, Oct. 14, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Redistricting proposals draw concerns from local residents

The state is seeking feedback on the best way to redraw the state’s legislative district boundaries in the wake of the 2020 census.

Signs advertising COVID-19 safety protocoals stand outside the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex on Oct. 6, 2020, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion)
Ordinance seeks more funding for sports complex renovations

Approved for introduction by the Soldotna City Council during their Oct. 13 meeting, the legislation would put an extra $583,000 toward the project

Most Read