180 miles of Oregon coast travel: Astoria, Seaside, Cannon Beach, Manzanita,
Nehalem, Wheeler, Rockaway, Garibaldi, Tillamook, Oceanside, Pacific City,
Lincoln City, Depoe Bay, Newport, Waldport, Yachats & Florence.
Masses of Squids Washing Up on Oregon Coast
|Humboldt Squid in the Warrenton area, on the north coast. (Photo
(Gearhart, Oregon) - It's a small invasion from California:
dozens of Humboldt squid have been washing up on the north Oregon coast
this past week.
On Thursday, crews from the Seaside Aquarium counted about
15 of them scattered along the stretch from the very edge of Oregon’s
coastal border – the south jetty at Fort Stevens State Park - down
to Gearhart. More have reportedly shown up since along that 15 miles of
beach, and one report said a few were in the Cannon Beach area.
The first call came early Thursday morning, saying they
were around the wreck of the Peter Iredale in Warrenton. Manager Keith
Chandler and the aquarium’s Tiffany Boothe drove along the beach
and found the first 15 scattered between there and Gearhart.
|Many were found near the wreck of the Iredale (photo Seaside Aquarium).
Boothe said they were three to four feet in length, and
their bodies were well picked out by seagulls by the time they arrived.
“It was the aftermath of them washing onshore, what
was left,” Chandler said. “It was the best thing to happen
to the seagulls since McDonald’s. They attack the eyes first. That’s
apparently the best part.”
Saturday, several washed up again, also around the Peter
Iredale, according to one caller. But Chandler believed there were more
in other areas, just as on Thursday. “That probably means there
were more elsewhere,” he said. “They’ve come up all
over the north coast.”
Not native to this area, Humboldt squid reside in the warmer
waters off of the California coast. “Every once in a while, a warm
water current that runs off shore will bring these squid up north,”
Boothe said. “Eventually the warm water current will dissipate,
leaving the squid in water far too cold for them. The squid then get hypothermia
and start to wash ashore.
|Most squid were picked apart by seagulls (photo Seaside
“Once the squid hit the beach the birds go crazy
leaving very little evidence that the squid were even here. Most of the
squid that we saw had already been preyed upon, however, we were able
to collect two whole specimens, which will go up to Seattle.”
The tentacles were often detached from the main body, which
includes the cylindrical area that’s attached to what often looks
like a squid’s head. That part contains the organs, the eyes and
the mouth. The tentacles were usually quite a ways away from the squid’s
body – or what was left of it. This led to another amusing discovery
for the aquarium crew.
“The gulls did what they could to keep their finds
away from other gulls,” Chandler said. “But we found tracks
in the sand, where they’d dragged the body. There were tracks leading
from the tentacles to the rest of the squid. So they made that kind of
In 2004, hundreds of Humboldt squid washed ashore on the
Oregon coast, some still alive. It was a record year, Chandler said, and
Chandler expects more to show up in coming days.
“There will probably be more,” he said. “But it’s
bound to end soon.”
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Coast Best of Awards for the Year And the winners
are: best of Oregon coast restaurants, lodgings, science, odd events
in nature and stunning moments for 2007
Transformations of Oregon Coast Beaches Seasons change
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Cool Ideas for Oregon Coast Romance Be it the season
of Valentine's or be it any time of the year, Oregon's coastline has
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or Night Mysteries and Merriment on Oregon Coast It's
more than just nightlife that comes to life, but the beaches offer major
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