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Even More Orcas, Grays, Coos Razor Clams, Warm Temps: Remarkable Week on Oregon Coast

Published 04/16/21 at 6:45 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Even More Orcas, Grays, Razor Clams, Warm Temps: Remarkable Week on Oregon Coast

(Oregon Coast) – Temps in the 70s and maybe beyond, Orca sightings, gray whales migrating, and razor clamming opening up only in the Coos Bay area: this week and weekend are a brimming with fun times on the Oregon coast. (Photo courtesy Edith HItchings)

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Friday is seeing temperatures in the 80s for much of the northern half of the Oregon coast and southern Washington coast, and with the inland area poised to keep up a small heatwave this weekend the beaches will be the prime place to go. The nice weather patterns will stick around to some degree this week, and that coupled with things like increasing killer whale sightings and plenty of gray whales, this will be a good week to play hooky from work.

There are some fire dangers, however, even along the beaches In fact all of Lincoln County is currently under a red flag warning today (Friday). While that expires late tonight, you should be extra cautious when building fires on the beaches over the weekend as extra dry conditions and really dry air are creating a tinderbox.

Weather. The north Oregon coast and southern Washington coast will be quite warm even on Saturday, with temps predicted in the mid 70s and fairly mild winds. From about Raymond, Wash., down through Florence, Oregon, things drop to the low 60s on Sunday and then into the upper 50s for the next few days. Sunny to partly sunny conditions will help light up those days, however, so look for continued pleasant times on the beaches.

On then southern Oregon coast, Saturday and Sunday are cooler than up north but otherwise sunny. There are more sunnier days predicted for rest of the week for the area from Reedsport down to Brookings, according to the National Weather Service.

See Oregon Coast Weather - Washington Coast Weather 

Gray whale spouting, courtesy Oregon State Parks

Whales and Killer Whales. More Orca sightings have been documented this week, with another large one coming from Lincoln City on April 4, where Seattle’s Orca Network received a report of three or four of them heading northward. Another similar report came from Oceanside on April 6, two days later. On April 14, a pair of Orcas were photographed just offshore from Pacific City by a Dory boat fisherman, according to one Facebook whale watch page.

There were some unconfirmed reports of Orcas in Bandon this month as well.

Meanwhile, gray whale sightings are hot ‘n heavy along the coastline, with various whale watch groups reporting a large number of them just about everywhere. Some of the more potentially useful spots include in Astoria and a bit further inside the Columbia River.

With tidal conditions rather mellow it should be easy to spot them. Stick to higher vantage points.

You may spot other kinds of whales than Orcas and grays, according to Oregon officials.

“At times whale watchers report being able to see several whales at one time from good vantage points,” said Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) in its recreation reports. “There are other whales that migrate through as well.”

Cape Arago / Simpson Reef, courtesy Oregon's Adventure Coast

South Coast Whale Spotting. According to ODFW, volunteers might be found at places like Coos Bay’s Simpson Reef Lookout and Cape Blanco State Park, as long as COVID restrictions allow this. This has not been confirmed yet, however, but it is part of the ODFW weekly reports.

“Good places to see them are the bluffs along Cape Arago near Charleston, and bluffs at Coquille Point near Bandon,” ODFW said. “Don’t get too close to the edge of these cliffs because the soils can be very slippery. Falling from one of these overlooks can be life threatening.”

Razor Clamming Reopens South Coast. ODFW has reopened razor clamming from the south Coos Bay jetty down through Cape Arago - only a three-mile stretch just south of Coos Bay. Toxins were found in clam samples, but the recent test showed Coos Bay in the clear. For that reason, everything from northern Coos Bay up through the Washington border remains closed to the harvesting of these creatures. It's not great news for the rest of the coast, but it is for Coos Bay fans.

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Killer whales outside of Florence, courtesy Seaside Aquarium

Courtesy Seaside Aquarium

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