Spring Break brings chance for families to see mammals migration

The Oregon coastline is the place to be during Spring Break, March 22-29, as gray whales cruise north on their spring migration, say officials at the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department.

Gray whale numbers usually peak the last week in March and just in time for the Spring Whale Watch Week.

Nearly 160 gray whales pass along the coast each day and whale watchers may see their 12-foot blow — or spout — from the shore.

Trained volunteers will be at 24 “Whale Watching Spoken Here” sites along the coast from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. each day. They’ll 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 should come to the coast with binoculars and rain gear. This time of year most of the whales can be spotted about one to three miles off the coastline. Occasionally, whales will search for food or an early mother and calf will swim close to the shore.

Oregon State 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 nearby Newport, offers daily whale skeleton tours and marine mammal presentations.

Maps of the “Whale Watching Spoken Here” viewpoints are online at

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