Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Whale Watching on the Oregon Coast

There are approximately 18,000 gray whales in the winter and spring migrations and a group of 200-400 whales that feed along the Oregon and Washington coast during fall and summer. In the spring, March through June most of these gray whales make the journey from their breeding lagoons in Baja California to the Arctic feeding grounds. On this northbound migration, small numbers of gray whales fall out of the migration group and stop at various locations along the Oregon coast, one of these places is Depoe Bay, these whales are called resident whales.

For whales to be known as residents, they must stay around a certain area for at least two days, exhibit feeding behavior, and return year after year. This distinguishes them from migrating whales which stop on their migration and feed then move on their way. Along the coast of Depoe Bay, our resident gray whales begin showing up in June. On any one day throughout the summer, numbers range from one to 20. Some arrive in early summer, leave, and then return in late summer or early fall.

Resident gray whales remain around Depoe Bay for a period of days to months, there is one whale “Scarback” (Pictured Above) who been around for at least 19 years. The last of the resident whales leave in October or November and return to the breeding lagoons of Baja California to rejoin the remainder of the population.

Visit our website at:

Whales Tail (Dockside Charters)
270 Coast Guard Pl.
Depoe Bay, Oregon 97341

Phone: 541-765-2545
Toll Free: 1-800-733-8915