Stay Eat Events Weather Beaches

Herring, Whale Sightings Up Along Oregon Coast

Published 02/26/2016 at 4:01 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Gray whale photo courtesy Seaside Aquarium

(Oregon Coast) – In the marine ecosystem, one thing easily leads to another. And in this case, an abundance of herring in some parts of the Oregon coast is not only good for fishing, but whale sightings are starting to spike, sometimes because of that. (Gray whale photo courtesy Seaside Aquarium)

Pacific herring have made their way into two bays along the Oregon coast last week, which Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) says could mean they will soon be entering estuaries. They showed up in large numbers at Yaquina Bay in Newport and at Coos Bay.

ODFW said it is now spawning time and schools of this important forage fish usually appear and then disappear periodically. Jigging for herring is a great way to introduce kids to fishing. Use a multiple-hook herring jig from a dock or pier. Many anglers catch herring this time of year to use as halibut bait; salmon, on the other hand, prefer a higher-quality herring found in bays later in the year.

This could also mean an exciting show for beachgoers in some places, such as at Seaside's Necanicum River mouth. When lots of baitfish show up there, often a frenetic feeding frenzy ensues as pelicans and seagulls attack the water in massive flocks.

The arrival of so many herring can also bring lots of whales chasing them, as happened last summer when large numbers of Humpback whales hovered close to north Oregon coast towns like Cannon Beach and up the Columbia River.

There have already been some reports of a handful of whales in the Columbia in the last two weeks, which could be a sign of a rollicking whale watch season – and one that starts early.

Whale migration has already begun, however, and Gray whales are not scarce along the beach towns. Depoe Bay's Whale Watch Center said the grays have been growing in numbers since the early part of the month. Earlier this week, they saw as many as 16 per day on some days.

They are currently moving northward with their young, and that migration peaks in mid-March with the spring Whale Watch Week. Where to stay for this - Where to eat - Map and Virtual Tour

Gray whales primarily eat mycid shrimp, which is found in abundance in the Depoe Bay area year-round. Others, like Humpbacks, feed on baitfish like herring. More about Oregon Coast Whales here.

River feeding frenzy photo by Seaside Aquarium





 

Whale photos below courtesy Seaside Aquarium




More About Oregon Coast hotels, lodging.....

More About Oregon Coast Restaurants, Dining.....

 

A famous little family eatery where the seafood practically gets shuffled from the sea straight into your mouth. Soups and salads include many seafood specialties, including cioppino, chowders, crab Louie and cheese breads. Fish 'n' chips come w/ various fish. Seafood sandwiches with shrimp, tuna or crab, as well as burgers. Dinners like pan fried oysters, fillets of salmon or halibut, saut�ed scallops.
Oregon Coast event or adventure you can't miss
Pacific City, Oregon

 


 


Coastal Spotlight

LATEST Related Oregon Coast Articles

Free Fishing Day, Birding Event on Central Oregon Coast
Free Family Fishing Day in Lincoln City, April 28; Cascade Head Bird Walk on May 12. Lincoln City events
Oregon Coast Video: Chaotic and Calm at Hug Point, near Cannon Beach
Hug Point changes shape and look so distinctly and so much more obviously
An Array of Sudden, Wild Beach Finds on N. Oregon Coast: the 'Ocean Burp'
A massive debris field of wild, weird and fun stuff from the deep called an ocean burp. Sciences
Oregon Coast Whale License Plate Appears to be a Go
The initiative reached its goal of selling 3,000 vouchers for the plate. Sciences
Meteor Showers Look Good for Oregon Coast, Portland, Valley
The meteor showers peak on April 22 but they're still around until April 25. Sciences
Oregon Coast Safety: Helpful Tricks to Spotting Sneaker Waves
Strangely, there is a little trick to spotting them. Weather
Oregon Coast Scenery That Makes a Scene: Manzanita's Overlooks; Video
They're called the Neahkahnie Overlooks and it's a non-stop supply of oceanic eye candy. Travel tips
N. Oregon Coast Concerts Include America's Got Talent Singer
Cannon Beach History Center and Museum pull together two gigs of an interesting nature

Back to Oregon Coast

Contact Advertise on BeachConnection.net
All Content, unless otherwise attributed, copyright BeachConnection.net Unauthorized use or publication is not permitted

Oregon Coast Lodging
Rentals
Specials

Dining

Events Calendar

Oregon Coast Weather

Travel News

Search for Oregon Coast Subjects, Articles

Virtual Tours, Maps
Deep Details