Welcome to the Salish Sea hydrophone network

Listen live to the Lime Kiln hydrophone

(Click above link to listen to the live Shoutcast stream with iTunes or Winamp.)

The hydrophone node at Lime Kiln State Park is located just southwest of the Lighthouse in about 7 meters of water. There is a long history of hydrophone deployments, repairs (after winter storm damage), and acoustic research at the Lighthouse. We thank Lime Kiln State Park for hosting the long-term research efforts of the Whale Museum and the Washington State Department of Wildlife for supplemental funding to repair storm damage in winter, 2007.

The current dual-hydrophone system began streaming live sound on May 14, 2007. The hydrophones were wired up by Val Veirs and attached to existing moorings during a SCUBA dive by David Howitt and Scott Veirs. Custom software written in Visual Basic by Val Veirs assesses average underwater sound levels and automatically detects "unusual" sounds. The stream is distributed by spacialnet.com for $23/month.

Archived sounds from Lime Kiln

These sounds are presented using a Flash-based player called Wimpy...

You can use the above "playlist" to access all archived files. Exceptional recordings are described below (and can be played using the adjacent icons).

Listen link Date Time Description
05/23/07 17:08 A 2-minute mono clip of J pod calls and clicks (w/some ship noise). From a longer vocal period (16:40~17:45).
06/01/07 19:53 A 4.5-minute stereo clip of J pod calls and clicks, including an airplane and the sound of an orca surfacing. From a longer vocal period (19:45-20:23). [Warning -- this recording has low background noise and some sudden much louder sounds and concomitant distortion from the stream encoding].
06/01/07 20:21 A 2-minute mono clip of J pod clicks and remarkably similar clicks from an approaching ship. The end of a longer vocal period (19:45-20:23). (The ship noise waned by ~20:35. Two faint calls were heard ~21:21. Another ship was approaching at 21:30.)
08/23/07 22:15 A 4-minute 16-second mono clip of southern residents (J+K+L?) recorded by Lynn Waller. She noticed increased vocal activity about 2-min 45-sec into recording. Other listeners reported calls at Lime Kiln at 21:25, 22:50 and 23:10, and at OrcaSound around 23:15 (with a harbor seal), suggesting they were spread out along much of the west side.
04/01/08 13:05 A 1-hour 4-minute 4-second mono clip of southern residents J pod members containing calls, echolocation clicks, pebble splash sounds, and boat noise. The J16s were sighted about two hours earlier ~1km south of the hydrophone. Listening log
06/25/08 22:15 A 2-minute stereo clip of southern residents recorded by Andy Good of the UK. This recording contains a few very loud whistles, as well as S1 and S16 calls, that were made as the orcas traveled north past Lime Kiln.

Other links:

Lime Kiln State Park web site


The real-time streams and the Salish Sea hydrophone network are brought to you by our project partners at each node and the administrative team:
Beam Reach Marine Science and Sustainability School
Colorado College Physics and Environmental Science Departments
The Whale Museum of Friday Harbor

With generous support from the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). If you would like to contribute financially, please consider making a donation:




Listening guidance

To listen to these links, you must be able to receive ShoutCast streams. iTunes will do the job (on Mac or Windows computers) for free, though you may need to copy the link and paste it in "Open Audio Stream" under the "Advanced" menu. Another Windows solution is the free player from Winamp.

You can also try to record the streams when you hear something that interests you. We recommend Stream Ripper (free, open source, all platforms). If you'd like to explore underwater listening even further (including sound analysis and contributions to citizen science projects), then consider taking on a Beam Reach externship in bioacoustics.

Don't hesitate to contact us if you'd like to make your recording available to the listening community by having us publish it on this web site. In any case, please abide by the Creative Commons license

Contact: Val Veirs Contact: Scott Veirs

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Other marine audio streams

Please let us know of other live streams.
Creative Commons License
Hydrophone network sounds by http://orcasound.net is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.