La Conner Marina – Gateway to San Juan Islands Wildlife Viewing

san-juan-islands-wildlife-viewingWhether you’re a seasoned Northwest boater or planning to charter a boat this summer, the La Conner Marina and the surrounding waters of the San Juan Islands provide an awesome opportunity for wildlife viewing. The best viewing times are from April-October, although you’ll find some species living in our midst all year long.

Look – over there – a spout of water ….  WHALES!

For many, the sight of whales is an experience of a lifetime. And in our waters, the most-often seen whale is the orca. There are 3 pods found in our Puget Sound waters and are generally here from mid-April to early October, although one pod is often seen year-round. Our local Orcas move north and south from the San Juan Islands down to the southern reaches of the Puget Sound near Olympia – a transient pod comes down from Canada from time to time as well. There are strict state and federal guidelines that ensure the whales aren’t disturbed and our local pods are classified as endangered and are protected by state and federal laws. To find out more about our local pods, the Orca Network has a wonderful website. Additionally, whale watching tours are available through a variety of tour businesses.

Our tour companies are monitoring the COVID-19 situation closely and have suspended tours until at least May 15, 2020

Our Majestic Bald Eagles

Whether you see a bald eagle soaring high in the sky, perched in a treetop, sitting on an old piling, or diving for a dinner of fish, it’s such a special treat. Our resident bald eagle population continues to grow from year-to-year, and we never get tired of looking for these majestic birds. Oftentimes you’ll hear their distinctive call (‘cheeee, che che che’) and if you look up, you’ll see them gracefully floating on the breeze or gazing down at you from the top of a tall tree.

Everyone’s favorite – the Harbor Seal

Keep an eye out for these furry and fun little fellows … they love to hang out in the water watching the boats go by. While you won’t see Orcas in the Swinomish Channel, you’ll often see Harbor Seals just off our guest docks.

Other Birds of Note

We’re also home to the Blue Heron and Brandt’s Cormorant – both often along the sand, rocks, and pilings during low tide. You’ll recognize the Cormorant by its black coloring and long, slender neck and prominent pointed beak.

Ready to get out into our waters and see the awe-inspiring sights of our wildlife this summer? We’d be happy to host you (when it is safe to do so) at the beginning of your boating trip into the San Juan Islands, or as a final stop-over on your way home from your trip. Give us a hail on the radio, or call us from your cell phone, and we’ll make sure to reserve a spot on our docks for you.

*As of May 1, 2020, the Port of Skagit is open for business, but the Marina office is closed to all walk-in traffic.  The staff members are available to serve you and be responsive to your needs via phone and email during regular business hours.  phone at 360-466-3118 or by email at

Boat Moorage in La Conner – Easy Access to the San Juan Islands

san_juan_islands_la_conner_marinaIf you’re a Northwest boater with a boat moored in the central or south Puget Sound, and you love traveling within the Salish Sea, you know how long the trip can be from the Seattle area up to the San Juan Islands. Wouldn’t it be great if you could find high-quality less expensive moorage for your boat, plus be within an hour of the beauty of the San Juan Islands and the Gulf Islands, British Columbia waters? Our marina near the San Juan Islands has a variety of long-term and seasonal moorage options and rates.


0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply