Oregon Coast Whale Sighting Numbers High, Include Humpbacks
(Oregon Coast) – Whale watching along the coastline has been exceptional in recent weeks, especially during the incredibly calm conditions that were typical of the area on many days. (Above: extremely calm conditions recently on the central coast)
The Whale Watch Center in Depoe Bay released its July and early August whale sighting numbers, but Oregon Coast Beach Connection has recently begun collecting sightings all up and down the coast from other areas. These are painting a stellar picture of the whale presence at this time.
At the Whale Watch Center in Depoe Bay, they report that July 19 and July 20 saw only one whale on each of those days. The center reports no whale spottings on July 21.
Then things got really interesting. July 22 saw only one gray whale, but a total of nine Humpback whales were seen about two and a half miles out. The following day the center reports 13 Humpback whales seen as well, although no gray whales.
From July 24 to 26 there were no whales seen, and the center says fog was the big reason on July 26.
On July 27 two gray whales were seen.
July 28 found four gray whales wandering within sight of the center, but another whopping 13 different humpbacks were seen.
On July 29 there was one gray whale spotted but a total of eight humpbacks.
July 30 saw one whale, as did July 31.
On August 1 the center saw two whales, and another two on August 2. August 3 saw only one whale.
Then things picked up considerably, with four whales seen on August 4, a wowing eight whales seen on August 5, and seven whales spotted on August 6. Seven more whales were seen on August 7.
Ending the reporting period from the center was August 8, which saw no gray whales but five Humpbacks.
Elsewhere on the Oregon coast, the whale presence has been extremely strong. Just the first few days of August alone on the central coast saw dozens and dozens of whale sightings and spoutings at places like Yachats, Cape Foulweather and some spectacular close encounters at Fogarty Beach during those sunny, slightly balmy days. In fact, it was hard to go anywhere along the coast in those calm conditions and not see crowds of people gawking and pointing at one experience after another.
These, however, are not documented.
In Newport, local resident Terry Morse reports seeing two quite close to Nye Beach on July 28.
“One had a strong, tall spout, the other a much shorter one that dissipated quickly; likely an adult and a younger one, though not necessarily mother and calf,” Morse said.
Down on the southern Oregon coast, the folks running the Umpqua River Light at Winchester Bay in the first few days of August and had some spectacular encounters there.
About 11:30 a.m. on one of those days, two whales were seen surfacing about a quarter mile north of the Umpqua River, 1/3 mile from shore.
“About 25 minutes later, saw them about 1/3 mile farther north,” MJ Koreiva, museum manager and lighthouse keeper.
In other fun and funky creature news, fishing has been quite good on some parts of the coast. John Forsythe, owner of Proposal Rock Inn in Neskowin, said he talked to one local who caught a 12-pound Cabazon while perch fishing from shore at Tierra Del Mar, near Pacific City. Now, that is indeed a fish tale to be remembered.
Below: Tierra Del Mar.
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