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Gray whales are on the move during Dec. 27-31 Whale Watch Week


Watching for gray whales at Cape Meares State Scenic Viewpoint.

Watching for gray whales at Cape Meares State Scenic Viewpoint.

If you’re headed to the Oregon coast next week, watch for migrating whales with trained volunteers during the annual winter Whale Watching Week from Dec. 27-31. Volunteers with the Whale Watching Spoken Here program will be stationed at 24 sites from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on those days to help people spot gray whales that are heading south to Mexico.

“We’ve already seen the first migrating gray whales in the past few days and we expect another excellent winter whale watching week.  Last winter our volunteers helped people see more than 1,600 gray whales plus a pod of orcas and some humpback whales spotted on the central coast. You never know what you’re going to see while you’re whale watching, but that’s half the fun.” Ranger Luke Parsons, Whale Watching Center

Volunteers will also share information about whale migration and feeding habits. The winter migration typically lasts until mid-January. A map of the watch sites is available at whalespoken.org.

Camping, including yurts and cabins, is available at state parks along the coast. Go to oregonstateparks.org to check availability and make a reservation.

OPRD reminds visitors to check www.oregonstateparks.org and www.tripcheck.com for weather-related alerts and closures before heading to the coast. Be aware of winter storms and high waves—respect closures, stay off the sand and watch storms from an elevated site.

Head to the coast for Winter Whale Watch Week Dec. 27-31 (2014)


Trained volunteers at 24 sites

Gray whale at Redfish Rocks Marine Reserve. Photo courtesy Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife

Gray whale at Redfish Rocks Marine Reserve. Photo courtesy Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife

This year’s Winter Whale Watch Week runs Dec. 27-31 at 24 designated whale watching sites along the coast. Trained volunteers from the Whale Watching Spoken Here program are stationed at the sites 10 a.m.-1 p.m. on those days to help visitors spot gray whales heading south.

The volunteers can tell you about whale migration and feeding habits and give tips about the best ways to spot whales.  See a map of the watch sites at whalespoken.org.

Camping, including yurts and cabins, is available at state parks along the coast. Go to oregonstateparks.org to check availability and  make a reservation.

With our recent wild weather, it’s always a good idea to be aware of winter storms and high waves–respect closures, stay off the sand and watch storms from an elevated site if conditions are bad.

Full speed ahead to Winter Whale Watch Week! (2011)


Join Whale Watching Spoken Here volunteers Dec. 26-31

The Gray whales are trekking from their feeding waters in the Bering and Chukchi Seas off Alaska to breeding and calving areas along the Baja Coast south of California. You have the entire Oregon Coast to spot them during the peak migration, Dec. 26 – 31.

The best viewpoints are at the 24 designated ‘Whale Watching Spoken Here’ sites. Join trained volunteers to spot the roughly 18,000 whales that cruise past Oregon. Volunteers are available 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. daily during the Watch Week to share information on whales migration and feeding habits, and offer tips on how to spot the whales.

OPRD’s Whale Watching Center in Depoe Bay is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. during the Watch Week. You’ll find exhibits, volunteers to answer questions and ‘whale size’ windows overlooking panoramic ocean views. More information and a map with the 24 site locations are online at www.whalespoken.org.

Gray whale surfaces near the Depoe Bay sea wall

A Gray whale surfaces near the Depoe Bay sea wall.