Spectacular Live Squid Encounter on Oregon Coast

Published 06/28/2014


(Depoe Bay, Oregon) – One little boat and one really big squid encountered each other Saturday on the central Oregon coast. (Photos courtesy Whales Tail Whale Watching, Depoe Bay).

Before you start thinking Jules Verne here, the squid was only about six feet long and the boat much larger, actually. But it was pretty large for a Humboldt squid, and it made the day for one ship captain in Depoe Bay.

Gary Stephenson is owner and captain of Whales Tail whale watch tours in Depoe Bay, and described coming across a squid in what is a very rare instance on several levels. First, they are rarely seen along the Oregon coast, but rarer still are they seen close enough to be photographed alive and in their natural environment.

“We were coming in towards Boiler Bay when I saw this orange thing, and this Humboldt Squid started coming towards the boat, coming towards us,” Stephenson said. “I've never seen that before.”

The encounter lasted about ten minutes. He estimates the weight at about 80 pounds.

Stephenson said the squid seemed to be making a beeline for the engine. He kept moving the boat around, but the squid seemed intent on heading towards that part of the boats.

He found himself worried just slightly, as the Humboldt squid are known to be quite mean, certainly aggressive towards their prey.

Usually, Stephenson has seen them only just below the surface, and even those encounters are extremely rare. In his 40 years of being at sea Stephenson said he's only seen Humboldt squid about half a dozen times.

Stephenson managed to only snap a few photos of the critter.

Was the squid curious about the boat? Was it really interested in the engine?

Keith Chandler, manager of Seaside Aquarium, has dealt with these creatures a lot – although almost always when they've died and washed up ashore. He and the aquarium are part of the Marine Mammal Stranding Network, which attends to stranded sea creatures like seals, whales and other bodies that have washed up, even if they're just large fish.

Chandler did not think the squid was actually gunning for the boat, saying it was probably just coincidence. He didn't think the creature was even curious about the boat.

“He was looking for fish,” Chandler said.

Humboldt squid sightings are extremely rare on the Oregon coast because the waters are too cold, in general. Sometimes, large groups of them follow warm water currents up from warmer, southern ocean areas – and that's the only reason they wind up on this coastline.

Often, this ends in a mass die-off of them, as the warm current abruptly runs out and they quickly freeze to death in these waters. When that happens, you may see a sudden surge of dead squid washing up along the beaches.

Chandler said he has not heard of any dead squid washing up along the Oregon coast recently.


More about Depoe Bay below and at the Depoe Bay, Virtual Tour, Map.


Boiler Bay


More About Depoe Bay 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

 


Breathtaking high panoramic beach views from oceanfront rooms, spacious family suites & fully equipped cottages.  Known for gracious hospitality, the sparkling clean Sea Horse features a heated indoor pool, dramatic oceanfront spa, great whale watching, free deluxe continental breakfast, conference room, free casino shuttle & HBO.  Fireplaces, private decks and spas are available in select rooms.  Close to shops, golf, fishing & restaurants.  Pets are welcome in select rooms.  Senior discounts.  Kids 18 and under stay free in their parent's room.  Very attractive rates.
Lincoln City’s only resort hotel built right on the beach with all oceanfront rooms - nestled against a rugged cliffside overlooking a soft, sandy beach. Dine in penthouse restaurant and bar, for casual meal or candlelight dinner. An array of seafood specialties, juicy steaks and other Northwest favorites, including decadent Sunday buffet. Rooms range from bedrooms to studios to 1-bedroom suites with microwaves and refrigerators to full kitchens. Also, wi-fi, spa, saunas, exercise room and year-round heated swimming pool. Kids will love the game room and easy beach access. Full-service conference/meeting rooms for that inspirational retreat; extensive wedding possibilities.

 

LATEST Related Oregon Coast Articles

Oregon Coast Range to Get Icy, Dicey for Shorter Time
Snow advisory until noon, snow levels at 500 and even beaches may get dusting
Oregon Coast Range Highways to Get Snow; Huge Waves Continue
Snow will start hitting the higher elevations around Sunday night, lasting for a few days. Weather
Rare, Bizarre Glowing Creatures Strand on Oregon Coast Beaches
It's called a pyrosome, and the ones found here are less than a foot; actually massive colonies of cloned creatures. Seaside Aquarium, science
Experts Warn: Do Not Pick Up Stranded Turtles on Oregon Coast
Like baby seals or seals that are molting, sea turtles are also to be left alone. Seaside Aquarium, science
Five Freaky Features of Oregon Coast Winter You Didn't Know
There's much more going on here than meets the eye. Science, weather, travel tips
20-ft Surf on Oregon Coast Prompts Advisory
Big, spectacular but dangerous: that's what's in store for the Oregon coast Monday and Tuesday
N. Oregon Coast's Tillamook County Glows with Holiday Happenings
Tillamook County also hosts a wide array of holiday events and vibes. Garibaldi events, Manzanita events, Pacific City events
Central Oregon Coast Holiday Events Highlight History, Ocean Protection
Two particularly cheerful and relevant holiday parties are coming up. Newport events

Back to Oregon Coast

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