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Where Are the Dolphins?

Swimming in our Chesapeake — more than ever

There are many fish in the Bay. Most of them we never see — unless we’re catching as well as fishing.
    Dolphins are the exception — in two ways. First, they’re mammals, not fish. Second, they break the surface of the water once or twice each minute for air because dolphins, like us humans, need to breathe.
    The shiny mammals that surface, then splash back down are likely the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus). They travel in pods of about a dozen, so spotting a single dolphin is rare. You might hear as well as see them because these social creatures are whistlers.
    Scientists at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science want your help detecting dolphins. Report your Chesapeake sighting — or sounding — on the free app Chesapeake Dolphin Watch for iPhones and Androids. Include the time and location and ideally a photo or video.
    With your help, scientists can better understand where these mammals spend their time, how long they stay and how often they visit. With this knowledge, we can better learn how to protect them in our waters.
    Check out what people have found at www.umces.edu/dolphinwatch or on Facebook @ChesapeakeDolphinWatch.
    To see more, join a Dolphin Watching Cruise out of Chesapeake Beach Resort & Spa Fri., July 13, 5:30pm: rsvp: https://cbresortspa.ticketleap.com/dolphin-watching-cruise/.