A 30-foot gray whale seen by paddle boarders Monday morning entangled in colored netting around its tail was freed Tuesday.
The whale was spotted near Crystal Cove, then moved north toward Newport Beach.
The whale had a gill net on its tail.
Witnesses said it was dragging about 150 feet of rope.
The orange round buoys were placed there by a team to keep an eye on the whale.
Officials from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Harbor Patrol were out. Big boats were used to carry the cutting equipment. A smaller boat could get in closer to cut the netting away.
This is the beginning of the migration season.
Top news of the day
Gray whales are southbound now from Alaska to Mexico. The crew says they were able to retrieve some of the netting and that sometimes it can be traced to a fishing company or vessel.