An elusive humpback whale remained on the wrong side of a power dam in Nova Scotia's Annapolis River on Saturday, and continued to draw crowds of onlookers in the process.
Officials with the federal Fisheries Department say they're planning to try to coax the seven-metre juvenile whale out to open sea Monday or Tuesday.
The whale entered the river from the Bay of Fundy last Monday.
It's been dubbed Sluice by residents and officials after the open sluice gates next to the Nova Scotia Power plant through which it entered the river.
The utility has shut down the power plant and is keeping the gates open in hopes the whale will find its way back through the openings, which are six by nine metres in size.
Emily Boucher works at the local visitor information centre, which overlooks the dam. She said people who have spotted the whale as it meanders along the river have been calling in updates to the tourism kiosk.
Whale watchers arrived in about 50 vehicles Saturday, gathering on the causeway and filling the kiosk's tiny parking lot.
The whale swam up the Annapolis River as far as Bridgetown, N.S., on Thursday morning, and several store employees and passersby saw Sluice playing under a local bridge.
Bridgetown is about 20 kilometres up river from the power station.
By Saturday afternoon, a pilot in a private plane reported to the visitor information centre that he had spotted Sluice in Belleisle, heading back down river.
In Belleisle, about 10 kilometres from Annapolis Royal, a small boat launch and picnic area known as Hebbs Landing was soon crowded with binocular-toting whale watchers.
Area resident Edie Murray, whose house overlooks the river, said Saturday that at least 25 cars were parked at the tiny boat launch all afternoon.
"Cars were just crammed in there, packed like sardines," she said.
"I don't know anybody that's actually seen [the whale] Lots of people are saying, 'Oh, so-and-so has seen it."'