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VIDEO: Humpback whale spotted from Montreal’s Old Port. 470 miles upriver.

PortandTerminal.com, May 31, 2020

MONTREAL, QUEBEC – Those lucky enough to be near the St. Lawrence River in Montreal on Saturday got a rare treat when a humpback whale was spotted near the Old Port in the morning.

The whale was spotted swimming past Quebec and Trois Rivieres closer to the mouth of the St. Lawrence River earlier in the week.

There are lots of whales in the St. Lawrence River including blue whales, the largest animals on the planet, but they usually are found near the mouth of the river where it meets the Atlantic Ocean.

Montreal is located about 470 miles from the mouth of the St. Lawrence River so it’s not often that a whale swims that far upriver against the strong current.


Marie-Eve Muller, a spokesperson for the Quebec Marine Mammal Emergency Response Network, said it’s unclear what led the whale to wander so far astray or how long it might stick around Montreal before turning around.

“The current is quite strong, it’s trying to go up but it’s having a hard time fighting the current,” Muller said, adding the whale wasn’t showing any signs of distress.

Humpback whale jumping out of water
The whale is still in the Jacques Cartier Bridge area of Montreal and has now been identified as 2-3 years old. PHOTO: Jacques Nadeau

“It’s swimming freely so that’s good, it means it can move around as it needs,” she added. “It’s hard to predict if it has hit the end of the road and will turn around and hopefully go back to her other humpback whale friends in Tadoussac or Gaspé,” she said.

Federal agents are ensuring all boats are 100 metres (330 feet) from the whale at all times, and boaters are advised to avoid approaching the animal.

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