JUNEAU Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve has lifted the 10-knot speed limit and mid-channel course restriction in Lower Bay whale waters.
The limit and course restriction were canceled as of 6 a.m. Friday, according to an announcement by park Superintendent Tomie Lee.
The park's permit system and vessel operating restrictions are designed to protect the endangered humpback whale, which feeds in the waters of Southeast Alaska, including Glacier Bay. Recent whale surveys conducted by park biologists indicate that the number of humpbacks in the Lower Bay has declined to fewer than three - down from about a dozen.
Although these restrictions have been lifted for the present, the National Park Service reminds boaters that, throughout the year, boaters are prohibited from chasing whales and from approaching within one-quarter mile of humpbacks in park waters.