Photo Credit: Whale Spoken Here
Spring Whale Watching Season Quick Guide
Spring is just around the corner and with spring comes the whale migration. During this annual migration about 18,000 gray whales pass just off the coast of Oregon. Yes, you read that right, 18,000! While there are some resident gray whales that stay year round just off the coast, this is the one of the best time to see them. During this time mother grays heading north tend to stay closer to shore with their young, which makes land based spotting much easier.
While the majority of cetaceans(marine mammal) involved in the spring migration the Oregon Coastline are gray whales, there are plenty of other species to watch out for any time you are on the coast.
Orcas– While they are spotted year round, spring tends to be the best time of year to spot Orcas. This is when you will see them hunting along the coastline. Orcas tend to be spotted more in the area from Newport to Depoe Bay. From time to time they do venture into the bays especially Yaquina Bay in Newport.
Minke– Reaching about 35 feet in length and feeding in the same areas as gray whales, the way to tell the difference is their white underside.
Blue– The mighty blue stays far offshore, 10 miles or more and are rarely seen closer to shore.
Humpback– Generally seen to 5 to 15 miles out at sea.
Great Places To Spot Cetaceans On The Central Coast
- The Whale Watching Center/Depoe Bay Sea Wall
- Rocky Creek State Scenic Viewpoint
- Cape Foulweather
- Devil’s Punchbowl State Natural Area
- Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area
- Don Davis City Park
- Cape Perpetua Interpretive Center
- Cook’s Chasm Turnout
- Sea Lion Caves Turnout – at the turnout south of the tunnel
Keep your eyes on the horizon and be on the lookout for the spray. Happy watching!