Whale Watching Spoken Here Spring Whale Watch Week March 24th-31st, 2012
Record numbers of gray whales have already been seen heading north on their annual migration up the coast of Oregon. The Oregon State Parks Whale Watching Center in Depoe Bay predicts this is a good omen for the upcoming Spring Whale Watch Week, March 24th through Saturday, March 31st.
Migrating gray whale numbers usually peak about the last week in March, and this year looks to be right on target. More than 200 trained volunteers will be at 24 “Whale Watching Spoken Here” sites from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. during the week to answer questions and give advice about spotting some of the 18,000 gray whales cruising north from their breeding grounds on Mexico ’s Baja coast to their summer feeding grounds in the Bering Sea.
Visitors to the Oregon coast wishing to spot some of these majestic giants should come prepared with binoculars and rain gear and seek out the “Whale Watching Spoken Here” signs at any of our 24 whale watching viewpoints. This time of year most of the whales can be spotted about 1-3 miles off shore, but check in closer for the occasional whale searching for food or an early mother and calf. Clear days with calm wind and seas make it easier to spot the whales.
Visitors can find more information and viewing help from 10 a.m-4 p.m. each day of the spring whale watching week at the OPRD Whale Watching Center in Depoe Bay. The Oregon State University Hatfield Marine Science Center in nearby Newport also offers presentations that include children’s story times.
Maps of the “Whale Watching Spoken Here” viewpoints, information on charter boat and airplane tours, and whale watching tips are online at www.whalespokenhere.org .
The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department coordinates the whale watch weeks with support from the Hatfield Marine Science Center .