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MailTribune.com
  • Spring Whale Watch Week set for March 22-29

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  • The number of gray whales migrating north in the spring usually peaks along the Oregon Coast about the last week in March. Nearly 160 gray whales pass along the coast each day, according to a press release from the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department.
    Trained volunteers will be at 24 "Whale Watching Spoken Here" sites along the coast from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. each day from March 22-29. They will answer questions and share tips about spotting some of the 18,000 gray whales heading from their breeding grounds on Mexico's Baja coast to their summer feeding grounds in the Bering and Chukchi Seas.
    Visitors hoping to spot some of these passing giants can come to the coast with binoculars and rain gear and look for the "Whale Watching Spoken Here" signs at the whale-watching viewpoints.
    This time of year, most of the whales can be spotted about 1 to 3 miles offshore. Whales occasionally will search for food or an early mother and calf will swim close to the shore.
    Oregon park rangers and volunteers will also be at the Whale Watching Center in Depoe Bay from 10 a.m to 4 p.m. each day of the watch week.
    The Oregon State University Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport offers daily programs, including 30-minute whale skeleton tours and marine mammal presentations.
    Maps of the "Whale Watching Spoken Here" viewpoints are online at www.whalespoken.org.
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