Support Dolphin Research and Conservation

The Galveston Bay Dolphin Research Program (GDRP), a partnership between the Galveston Bay Foundation and the Environmental Institute of Houston, aims to better understand the dolphins that live in Galveston Bay. The GDRP studies the ecology, behavior, and health of this population and raises awareness about dolphins through various outreach and education initiatives. You can directly support the GDRP by making a donation to become a member of the Dolphin Society or by adopting or naming a bottlenose dolphin.

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One-year Adoption: $200

Photographs of your adopted dolphin

Map showing all locations where your dolphin has been sighted

Quarterly updates about our dolphins during the adoption year (photos and sighting maps)

One-year membership in the Dolphin Society

One-Year Premier Dolphin Adoption: $500

Photographs of your adopted dolphin

Map showing all locations where your dolphins has been sighted

Call with Director of Research Dr. Vanessa Mintzer to learn about dolphin research and your dolphin

Quarterly updates about our dolphins during the adoption year (photos and sighting maps)

One-year membership in the Dolphin Society

Naming and One-year Adoption: $2,500

Photographs of your adopted dolphin

Map showing all locations where your dolphin has been sighted

Call with Director of Research Dr. Vanessa Mintzer to learn about dolphin research and your dolphin

Quarterly updates about our dolphins during the adoption year (photos and sighting maps)

One-year membership in the Dolphin Society

Recognition on our webpage and program newsletter of your adoption

Opportunity to name the dolphin and certificate of adoption

 

As a member of the Dolphin Society, you will receive the latest news about our research and dolphins. On top of making a unique gift, Society membership and our adoption kits are a great way to raise awareness of wildlife conservation issues in Galveston Bay.  All adoption kit materials are delivered electronically (formatted for printing). Each dolphin may be adopted by more than one person but is named only once. If you have previously adopted a dolphin that is not currently available for adoption but you would like to renew the adoption of your original dolphin, please contact us. Typically, please allow up to two weeks to receive your adoption/naming kit or contact Yolanda Hernandez at yhernandez@galvbay.org for special requests. The deadline to adopt or name a dolphin and receive the adoption/naming kit in time for Mother’s Day is 3pm CST on May 9, 2024. 


Choose From These Dolphins to Adopt

Astro II

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  • First sighted: July 2, 2014
  • Generously named by Lawrence Rearick
  • Celebrate the Astros by adopting Astro II! Astro II was the calf of Grace and was likely born in 2013, just before our research started. Astro II struck out on his/her own in 2016 when mom had a new calf and now hangs out with other known juveniles, including Calypso's calf (#279) who left his/her mom the same year.
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Delfini

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  • First sighted: June 3, 2015
  • Generously named by Cynthia and Donald Stevenson in honor of Cynthia Kostas
  • Delfini is one of the research team’s favorite moms (mom of #222, #751, #1352 and a new calf in 2023). She became a confirmed Grandma when Suri (#222) became a mom in 2021. Delfini enjoys hanging out in the upper portion of the Bay with Suri and other moms and calves, especially when she has her own young calf by her side. She is a close associate with Mariner (#23), and her 2021 calf (#1352) is in the same cohort as her grand-calf, along with Lybby's (#66), Angelique's (#39), Grace's (#58), Terry Lynn's (#88), and #231's calves that were all born in the same year.
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Jersey

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  • First sighted: February 14, 2014
  • Generously named by an anonymous donor
  • Jersey is the mother of at least four calves born since we first sighted her in 2014. She is unique in that a couple were born very close together (only about 1.5yrs apart) and she has had multiple calves by her side for several years. She often travels with other young dolphins and her grand-calves, leaving us to wonder if she runs a daycare! Jersey and her nursery group have become quite popular among communities in Clear Lake and Taylor Lake because they frequent these waterfront neighborhoods, freely moving in and out of the bayous likely in search of prey.
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Squirt

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  • First sighted: August 28, 2013
  • Generously named by Shell
  • Squirt was our first cataloged dolphin, so he will always be #1 in our hearts! He is a confirmed male and is one of the most frequently seen dolphins in upper Galveston Bay, with nearly 50 sightings in our catalog. He is an avid flounder fisherman!
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Surfy

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  • First sighted: August 11, 2015
  • Generously named by Mariloli Odum in honor of her grandchildren.
  • Surfy is a confirmed male and is close buddies with #125. They have been seen in large groups socializing with other suspected male pairs including Tide (#69) and #79, and Arnold (#211) and #210. Male bottlenose dolphins often form “male pair-bonds”, a strong relationship between adult male dolphins that can last years, even decades. These bonds are thought to increase fitness and reproductive success. When not pursuing the ladies, Surfy is an active guy, often interacting with shrimp trawlers and bow-riding on large ships.
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Suri

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  • First sighted: June 3, 2015
  • Generously named by Marian and Austin Cornelius
  • Suri is a young female dolphin that became independent of her mom Delfini (#220) in 2016. Suri is sometimes seen visiting with Delfini and her younger siblings. In 2020, we saw Suri spending time with our well-known male dolphins Squirt (#1) and Rudy (#81), and in 2021 we were excited to see her with her very first calf (#1364). She is now often seen in upper Galveston Bay with mom/calf groups, and the research team caught a glimpse of her with a possible second calf in 2024!
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Choose From These Dolphins to Name

#150

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  • First sighted: June 4, 2014
  • #150 is a suspected male dolphin and is buddies with #170. They are likely a "male pair", which is a long-term bond that male bottlenose dolphins have to improve reproductive and foraging success. We've seen #150 throughout upper and lower Galveston Bay, and he was most recently seen in the Houston Ship Channel!
NAME ME

Meet Our Other Named And Adopted Dolphins

Amorzinha

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  • First sighted: June 4, 2014
  • Generously named by Kenny Owen in honor of Gaby Owen
  • Amorzinha is a distinctive mom with a bent dorsal fin, caused by an injury that may have come from a line entanglement or boat strike. Luckily, she does not let this slow her down, and she has given birth approximately every other year since we’ve known her! She is the mother of #227, #548, #909, #1353, plus a 2023 calf. She is friends with Lybby (#66), and their 2021 newborns were first sighted together!

Angelique

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  • First sighted: July 2, 2014
  • Generously named by Madeleine and Raul Montes
  • Angelique (#39) is the dedicated mother of three dolphins: #40, #737, and a new calf! She is easily recognizable with her tall thin fin, and her calves seem to have inherited her beautiful fin shape.

Arnold

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  • First sighted: June 3, 2015
  • Generously named by Saint Arnold Bike Team
  • Although Arnold doesn’t have a lot of markings on his dorsal fin, his tall, uniquely-shaped fin helps him stand out from other dolphins. He is a confirmed male and is strongly bonded to #210. Male bottlenose dolphins may form “male pair-bonds”, a strong relationship between adult male dolphins that can last years, even decades.

Astro

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  • First sighted: November 10, 2015
  • Generously named by the Prioleau Family
  • Named after the Astros’ big win in 2017! Astro became a new mom in 2017 and we have been tracking the progress of her and her calf (#767).

Atlas

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  • First sighted: August 11, 2014
  • Generously named by Atlas Restaurant Group
  • We have known Atlas (#85) a long time! Our researchers first met him in the Houston Ship Channel in 2014, and with 53 sightings, he is one of our most sighted dolphins. He is a year-round resident of upper Galveston Bay, and he is often seen in groups with juvenile dolphins. Based on his behaviors and associates, we suspect that he could be a young “teenage” male. Our team has never seen him below Eagle Point, so if you like to boat or fish in upper Bay, this is likely the dolphin for you!

Babe

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  • August 28, 2013
  • Generously named by William Dickey in honor of Ellen Gerloff
  • Babe was sighted during our very first boat survey! With two new notches on its fin, Babe has recently become easier to spot and identify. Babe is often seen with Shiner (#225), Dutch (#10) and Squirt (#1).

Bevo

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  • First sighted: October 7, 2015
  • Generously named by Lance Odom
  • Bevo is a confirmed male dolphin and is buddies with #148. He hangs out in upper and lower Galveston Bay, and you'll most likely find him bow riding large ships in the Houston Ship Channel!

Calypso

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  • January 19, 2015
  • Generously named by Adam Bangs.
  • Calypso was sighted frequently right before and after Hurricane Harvey. We suspect she is a female and likely the mother of dolphin #279.

Catsu

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  • Generously named by Catherine Williams.
  • Catsu passed away on December 2, 2017. Please consider adopting Catsu Two, who was named in honor of Catsu. Not available for adoption at this time.

Catsu Two

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  • First sighted: July 07, 2015
  • Generously named by Catherine Williams.
  • Catsu Two is a confirmed male and is buddies with #237.

Cruiser

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  • First sighted: August 28, 2015
  • Generously named by Ellen Yarrell
  • Cruiser is a very special dolphin. We first saw her in 2015 when she was leaping, rolling and rubbing on seaweed, trying unsuccessfully to get a fishing line off that was wrapped around her dorsal fin. Luckily, the line was not around her body and did not impact her ability to swim or eat. After several months, the line worked its way through her dorsal fin, cutting off the top part. She is now free of the line and healed up well. We were absolutely thrilled to see her with a new calf in 2021! Cruiser serves as an important reminder to always properly discard of used fishing line and never to fish around dolphins.

Delphi

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  • First sighted: October 13, 2014
  • Generously named by the Annunciation Orthodox School
  • Delphi is a confirmed male. The deep V notch in the top of his fin, called a "tipnick" by our researchers, makes him easily recognizable. We suspect Delphi is a young dolphin, just reaching maturity, and possibly forming a long-term bond with #218.

Ducky

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  • First sighted: June 4, 2014
  • Generously named by Bren Gorman
  • This social butterfly, with a refined beautiful fin, is often sighted in groups of 25 or more dolphins! She is the mother of calf #880 who was born in 2018.

Dumbledolph

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  • First sighted: July 2, 2014
  • Generously named by the St. Thomas’ Episcopal School’s Environmental Science Class of 2016
  • With her wizardly fin, Dumbledolph stands out in a crowd and is very helpful when training observers to distinguish between individual dolphins. Dumbledolph became a mom in 2020! The team first spotted her with a tiny calf in August 2020. Since then, we have seen her frequently with her growing calf throughout Galveston Bay.

Dutch

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  • First sighted: August 28, 2013
  • Generously named by Shell.
  • Dutch is sighted frequently in upper Galveston Bay and is a close buddy of Shiner (#225).

Earle B

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  • First sighted: August 28, 2013
  • Generously named by Pat Hammond in memory of her father
  • We have known Earle B (#14) a long time! In fact, researchers met him during our very first boat survey in 2013. Since then, we have spotted him throughout the Bay, traveling both in open bay and channel habitat. His best buddy is JakLuk (#35), and the active pair have been spotted bow-riding and feeding behind shrimp trawlers.

Flip

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  • First sighted: July 24, 2015
  • Generously named by Deerwood Elementary
  • Flip is a juvenile (young dolphin) that became independent of his mom at the end of 2015. Since then, Flip has been busy socializing with other juveniles and mother/calf pairs.

Genevieve

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  • August 28, 2013
  • Generously named by Philip and Denise Bahr in honor of Genevieve Pelton.
  • Genevieve was our second cataloged dolphin! She is the mother of calf #509 who became independent in 2016 and of #854 who was born in 2016-2017.

Grace

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  • First sighted: July 2, 2014
  • Generously named by Cynthia and Donald Stevenson
  • Grace is a dedicated mama! She is the mom of Astro II (#59), #529 and a new baby! Astro II became independent in 2016, the same year that #529 was born. We think #529 likely left mom in 2019-2020. In 2021, she gave birth to a new calf! The mother/calf pair have been making regular appearances in upper Galveston Bay.

Gwen

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  • First sighted: March 21, 2018
  • Generously named by Gordon and Ruth Keenan in honor of Gwen Kirk
  • Reaching the cataloging of 1000 distinct dolphins was a huge milestone for the Galveston Bay Dolphin Research Program - making this dolphin mom with the #1000 ID very special! Gwen has a well-marked fin with a notch on the tip, so she is easy to spot in the waters of the Bay. She had an adorable calf in 2022! The pair seem to spend a lot of their time in lower Galveston Bay.

Island Byron

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  • First sighted: August 28, 2013
  • Generously named by Gaylynn Thomas for James & Judy Bozeman in honor of Byron Bozeman.
  • We have seen Island Byron near Morgan’s Point. During one of these encounters, Island Byron and two other dolphins approached the research boat. They were curious about the crew and peeked up at them several times. Although we appreciate these dolphins’ curiosity, we are concerned that this behavior may indicate that people have been feeding them (a violation of the Marine Mammal Protection Act). We are very eager to learn more about Island Byron’s behavior!

Jack

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  • First sighted: October 23, 2014
  • Generously named by Gordon and Ruth Keenan in honor of Jack Kirk
  • Jack is a confirmed male dolphin and is buddies with #150. They are likely a "male pair", which is a long-term bond that male bottlenose dolphins have to improve reproductive and foraging success. We've seen Jack throughout upper and lower Galveston Bay, and he was most recently seen in the Houston Ship Channel!

JakLuk

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  • First sighted: July 2, 2014
  • Generously named by J.P. Fjeld-Hansen
  • JakLuk (#35) was first sighted at Eagle Point in 2014. Since then, we’ve seen him throughout Galveston Bay, but he spends most of his summers in upper Galveston Bay. He is a robust, athletic, presumed male that likes to hang out with his best buddy Earle B (#14). When they’re not chasing the ladies, they like to travel in channels, feed behind shrimp trawlers, bow-ride on ships, and toss fish in the air!

Lucy

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  • First sighted: June 4, 2014
  • Generously named by Laurian and Tom Tollett
  • Lucy is a juvenile that became independent in 2016. Since her first sighting in 2014 as a calf, she has had pronounced scars resulting from entanglement with a fishing line. By adopting this young dolphin, you will directly support our efforts to learn more about how human-dolphin interactions can affect dolphins like Lucy.

Lybby

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  • First sighted: July 2, 2014
  • Generously named by LyondellBasell
  • Since first meeting Lybby in 2014, our research team has had the pleasure of watching her raise two calves: #67 and #908. Both are now independent of mom, and we were thrilled to see Lybby with a tiny baby in 2021! We've seen the pair several times over the last year, including one time in a group of about 15 dolphins patrolling a shrimp trawler in upper Galveston Bay.

Mariner

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  • First Sighted: August 28, 2013
  • Generously named by the Texas Mariners Cruising Association
  • Mariner is everyone's favorite socialite! He/she has sightings from around the entire bay, visiting with all different dolphins from mom/calf groups to male pairs and juvenile gatherings. He/she has been seen every year, starting with our very first boat survey in 2013. Mariner's hobbies include following shrimp trawlers and "babysitting" calves while their moms feed and socialize.

Martin

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  • First sighted: July 20, 2014
  • Generously named by Sandy and Bryce Ward
  • We have been sighting Martin since he/she was a small calf. But Martin is growing up and separated from his/her mother (#71) in 2015. We now see him regularly hanging out with a group of other young dolphins.

Mrs. Potts

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  • First sighted: July 2, 2014
  • Generously named by the Gessner family in honor of Barbara Gessner
  • Mrs. Potts is a mom! In fact, we have never sighted Mrs. Potts without a calf by her side! Starting with her first sighting in 2014, she had #73 with her, who stayed with her until the summer of 2015. The next time we saw Mrs. Potts in June of 2016, she had a new baby by her side, #523.

Nancy

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  • First sighted: July 2, 2014
  • Generously Named by Nancy’s Hustle
  • We first sighted Nancy when he/she was still a calf. Nancy started to venture out on his/her own in 2015, and became a fully independent juvenile by the summer of 2016. We often see Nancy hanging out with other young dolphins, including Martin (#72). Bow-riding is one of Nancy's favorite past times!

Nina

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  • First sighted: July 2, 2014
  • Generously named by Ms. Amy Ardington
  • Nina survived a shark attack at some point during his/her life! You can clearly see the shark bite mark just behind the dorsal fin (a feature that helps us identify him/her). This tough dolphin is regularly seen and has become a favorite of the research team!

Olive

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  • July 2, 2014
  • Generously named by Marian and Austin Cornelius
  • Sadly, Olive (#45) was found stranded near the Texas City Dike on 2/24/2021. He is a confirmed male and was 228 cm long.

Otis

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  • First sighted: July 2, 2014
  • Generously named by The Prioleau Family in memory of Leon M. Payne, Jr.
  • We have known Otis (#34) a long time! He has a few prominent notches on his fin that make him easily recognizable. Since 2014, we have seen him frequently throughout the Bay, some times on his own, other times in large groups. He is often found in the Houston Ship Channel where he seemingly enjoys bow-riding! He likes to hang out with Arnold "Arnie" (#211) and his best buddy #210. We highly suspect that Otis is an adult male, but we are hoping to confirm this one day.

Pepsi

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  • First sighting: August 11, 2015
  • Generously named by the Smith family.
  • Pepsi is the mother of #740 (first seen in 2017 as a neonate) and a new calf in 2022. We’ve seen her a few times very close to shore feeding up against docks and seawalls. Maybe lucky fans will get to see her from land and identify her with her unique fin! She sometimes hangs out with another one of our moms, Jersey (#43).

Piper

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  • July 20, 2014
  • Generously named by Wesley Sims.
  • Piper (#71) is one of our most frequently sighted mommies! She is Martin’s (#72) mother who recently became an independent young adult. We last saw her accompanied by a small calf near Baytown but we need to see her again to confirm that she has a new calf!

Puravida

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  • First sighted: June 3, 2015
  • Generously named by Becky Roof and Gary Smith in honor of their marriage
  • Since her first sighting in 2015, our research team has had the pleasure of watching Puravida (#434) raise two calves from newborns (#240 and #732). She is a protective mom that keeps her calves surfacing close by her side. During the summer months, she can often be seen with large mom-calf groups in the nearshore waters between red bluff and eagle point.

Rudy

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  • First sighted: May 16, 2014
  • Generously named by June Shaw
  • Rudy is a suspected male and close buddies with Squirt (#1). These two are seen frequently in the upper Bay, spending much of their time following shrimp trawlers in the Bayport Ship Channel and 5 mile cut. They are often seen with Dutch (#10) and Shiner (#225).

Sandy

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  • First sighted: August 28, 2013
  • Generously named by Brett Mossman in honor of his mother Dr. Sandra Mossman.
  • Sandy (#4) is one of the dolphins we have known the longest! She is a mother and had an adorable calf #906 (pictured above) in 2018. And she had another calf born in 2022! They often hang out with other mother/calf pairs in upper Galveston Bay (but also in other areas throughout the Bay). We sometimes see her with adopted dolphin Ducky (#75).

Sir Swimsalot

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  • First sighted: August 11, 2015
  • Generously named by the Bowen and Brewster Families
  • Sir Swimsalot (#297) is a presumed male and is seen regularly with his buddy #298. We met both back in 2015 and they continue to be the best of friends. The pair keeps mostly to themselves, but are occasionally seen in small groups with female dolphins.

Shanthi

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  • First sighted: August 28, 2013
  • Generously named by St. Thomas' Episcopal School
  • Shanthi was a frequent visitor to upper bay, often hanging around Morgan's point with suspected juvenile dolphins through summer of 2016. We have not seen Shanthi since then, but are keeping a close eye out to see if he/she moved on to other areas of the Bay.

Sheba

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  • First sighted: August 18, 2015
  • Generously named by Marian and Austin Cornelius
  • Sheba (#314) is a photogenic mom and one of the research team’s favorite dolphins! We have known her since 2015 and have met three of her offspring: #451, #873, and a calf born in 2021. #873 was born in 2018 and is now a juvenile but some times still hangs out with mom and her new calf.

Shiner

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  • June 3, 2015
  • Generously named by Austin Cornelius.
  • Shiner (#225) is a presumed male that we see almost every season. In fact, Shiner is a year-round resident of upper Galveston Bay and has become our most frequently sighted dolphin! He is almost always seen with Dutch (#10), his close buddy (male's often form long-term bonds that increase fitness and reproductive success). His three distinct notches make Shiner very easy to spot by our research team.

Sophia

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  • August 28, 2013
  • Generously named by Philip and Denise Bahr in honor of Sophia Pelton.
  • Sophia was one of our first cataloged dolphins (sighted during the first boat survey)! She is the mother of #219, who started venturing out independently in 2018 when Sophia was sighted with a new calf, #862. With her distinct upper and lower fin notches, she is easy to spot in the water!

Stella

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  • First sighted: June 4, 2014
  • Generously named by Karen Brisch
  • Stella is a mom with an elegant fin, first sighted in 2016 and seen often ever since. We have observed her with three calves, with the most recent one born in 2023. She spends a lot of her time in upper Galveston Bay but has been spotted in lower Bay too. Stella often spends time with other mom/calf groups between Kemah and Redfish Reef including her favorite associates Genevieve (#2), Jersey (#43), and Angelique (#39).

Steve

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  • First sighted: August 28, 2013
  • Generously named by Michelle Kay in honor of her husband Thomas Kay
  • We met Steve (#8) on our very first boat survey! As the years have gone by, we have watched his fin change to its current shape. The distinct permanent scar on the lead of his fin has helped us keep track of him despite all the changes. He has been sighted throughout upper and lower Bay and seems to prefer open bay habitat instead of deeper channels. He was last seen in a large group of dolphins that were socializing and following a shrimp trawler. It is very likely he is a male, but we have yet to confirm.

Ted

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  • First sighted: October 15, 2014
  • Generously named by Noble Energy in honor of Ted Romig.
  • Ted is the calf of Terry Lynn (#88)! They have always been spotted together in the ship channel! They love to visit a place the researchers have termed the “bus stop”, a popular spot on the ship channel where dolphins appear to hang out waiting for ships so they can bow ride.

Terry Lynn

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  • First sighted: October 15, 2014
  • Generously named by Charles Gussler in honor of his wife Terry.
  • Terry Lynn is Ted's (#89) mommy! She now has another calf that was born in 2021! They have been spotted together foraging around trawlers and in the ship channel. Like other mother/calf pairs, they frequent the “bus stop”, a popular spot on the ship channel where dolphins appear to hang out waiting for ships so they can bow ride!

Tide

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  • October 23, 2013
  • Generously named by Sandra and Fred Pounds’ grandchildren
  • Tide is a suspected male and is nearly always seen with his buddy, #79. These big boys are often seen swimming in close association with females and have likely sired many Galveston Bay calves. Although Tide is a regular visitor of the ship channel, he travels all over the bay and even visits the Kemah Boardwalk area on occasion.

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