Whale Watching

WHALE WATCHING SPOKEN HERE®

Depoe Bay Whale Watching Center

 

The Depoe Bay Whale Center is currently CLOSED:

 We will have a partial re-opening starting Friday July 1st at 10:00 AM.

There will be ongoing construction for the next several weeks and the facility may be closed with little notice. For the most up to date information, please contact us via email at, Whale.watching@oregon.gov or at our main Office at 541-265-4560.

***Alert  Starting June 1st 2016, the Whale Watching Center will be closed due to a renovation project. Stay tuned for an updated projected timeframe. For project information you can contact us at our main park office at 541-265-4560 or email Whale.watching@oregon.gov


Spring 2016 Whale Watch Week March 19th - 26th.

 

Spring Watch week was a huge success!  Below is a short description of the week's highlights and be sure to check out the Spring totals link. Over 1800 whales were spotted and over 20,000 visitors were contacted by our awesome volunteer staff!


On Saturday March 19, nearly 300 Gray Whales were seen along the coast. Decent weather provided good to excellent viewing. The hotspots were Cape Mears, Neahkahnie Mountain and Cape Disappointment.


Sunday March 20, the rain made it more difficult for our hearty volunteers! Rain, wind and hail didn't stop them from seeing nearly 100 whales along the Oregon Coast. The locations around Newport seemed to have the best visibility and reported the most whale sightings.


Monday March 21- The rain has again kept many of the locations from producing great numbers of sightings. The central coast did have a few breaks, and were able to see quite a few whales. Depoe Bay, Rocky Creek and Boiler Bay each saw 8- 15 whales today in the three hour window. Statewide totals are again near 100 sightings.
Look for the detailed totals tomorrow afternoon!

Tuesday March 22- A pretty nice day actually...finally! over 340 whales were seen in what turned out to be a great whale watching day! High totals were from the Lewis and Clark interpretive center in Ilwaco, WA (38) and from the Umpqua Lighthouse (34).  Great day at the coast!

Wednesday March 23- Rain and fog return making it a tough day for whale watching overall. 142 whales seen with a high of 15 sighted from the Inn at Spanish Head in Lincoln City. The Whale Watching Center in Depoe Bay only saw 6 whales, but 2 of them breached completely out of the water!

Thursday March 24- Surf's up! Much of the coast experienced large 10' - 15' swells which made viewing difficult in many locations. The buoys in Depoe Bay were disappearing behind the HUGE waves!  Even with the big waves, many locations ended up seeing quite a few whales. 241 whales seen today with the high mark coming from Sea Lion Caves, near Florence. Breaching, Spy hopping and an overall playful demeanor was noticed among the whales today!.

Friday March 25 - WOW!  What a nice day to be on the Coast! We had overall excellent conditions for whale watching today. Nice blue sky and fairly calm seas.  Whales breaching all along the Depoe Bay area, with over 220 whales seen state wide today.

Saturday March 26 - What a nice way to close out a very successful whale watch week! Most locations had great visibility and calm ocean conditions, which helped many sites rack up the whale totals. Sites along the central coast reported 20 or more whales and many witnessed breaches and for lack of a better description, they looked like they were playing.


***Thank you to the nearly 300 volunteers who made this week possible! In 8 days, our volunteers made contact with over 19,800 visitors from all across the globe helping them see and learn about gray whales and other marine species!

 

Click this link to view the whale totals. SPRING 2016
 


 


Winter Watch Week 2015

The 2015 Winter Whale Watch week was a huge success! Thank you to our wonderful volunteers. The week started off with some less than ideal weather, but by the end we had almost perfect viewing conditions in most locations!

Statewide, over 1,644 gray whale sightings were reported from December 27 - December 31 and more than 7,690 visitors were contacted by the Whale Watching Spoken Here volunteers.

Click here for Winter 2015 totals

 

Thank you again, and see you all March 19th - 26th for the Spring watch week.

 


Whales in Oregon!

People come from all over the world to learn about the gray whales that migrate past the Oregon coast each year. The Whale Watching Spoken Here® program places volunteers at great whale watching sites during watch weeks so they can help others spot the whales. For more than 30 years, our trained volunteers have helped visitors watch whales at 24 sites in three states along the Pacific Northwest coast. We definitely know whale watching. Learn more about whales at the Whale Watching Center in Depoe Bay, Oregon. Rangers and volunteers are ready to answer your questions.


24 of the best locations to see whales in Oregon

Whale viewing sites during the Watch Weeks
View Whale Watching Spoken Here in a larger map

 

 

Check out this map for a list of 24 designated locations volunteers will be staffed during each of our official Whale Watch Weeks.

Even if it isn't Whale Watch Week, these are great locations to be on the lookout for grey whales and other marine mammals!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


2015-2016 Whale Watching Weeks

Winter: December 27-31, 2015
Spring: March 19-26, 2016

Become a Volunteer

Whale Watch Training --Training dates, agendas & registration

Training and Registration are now complete for the Winter 2015 & Spring 2016 Whale Watching Season.

Stay tuned for next years training and registration info.

For more information:
Depoe Bay Whale Center
Oregon Parks and Recreation Department
198 NE 123rd Street
Newport, Oregon 97365
(541)765-3304/3407
fax (541)765-3402
e-mail: whale.watching@oregon.gov


What does a volunteer do?

Volunteers are expected to work at a watch site a minimum of two days. Although the schedule is 10 a.m.-1 p.m., actual volunteer time includes setting up the site with a sign and summarizing the data at the end of the day. Many volunteers work additional days and become regulars at their favorite sites. 

Free camping in the nearest coastal state parks (for tents or campers only) is available for volunteers during training weekends and watch weeks.
 
If you are pre-registered for a class or watch week, you may make free campsite reservations by calling Reservations Northwest at 1-888-953-7677. For Washington reservations at Cape Disappointment State Park for watch weeks, call 360-642-3078. California State Parks cannot offer free or discounted campsites at this time. For yurt or other campsite reservations, phone 1-800-452-5687 (regular fees apply).


Whale and Visitor Counts

Volunteers at the 24 Whale Watching Spoken Here® sites keep track of the whales spotted and number of visitors during the Whale Watch Weeks.

* Thank you to all the dedicated Whale Watching Spoken Here volunteers! 

March 21-28, 2015

Dec. 27-31, 2014

March 22-29, 2014
 

Dec. 26-31, 2013

March 23-30, 2013
Dec. 26-30, 2012            
March 24-31, 2012     
Dec. 26-31, 2011                                       
March 19-26, 2011
Dec. 26, 2010-Jan. 1, 2011
March 20-27, 2010
Dec. 26, 2009 - Jan. 1, 2010
March 21-28, 2009
Dec. 26, 2008-Jan. 1, 2009 
March 22-29, 2008
Dec. 26, 2007 - Jan. 1, 2008
March 24 - 31, 2007                                      
Dec. 26-Jan. 1, 2007                                        
Aug. 28 - Sept. 4, 2006                                    
March 21 - April 1, 2006                                      
Dec. 26, 2005 - Jan. 2, 2006
Aug. 29, 2005 - Sept. 5, 2005
March 19 - 26, 2005
Dec. 26, 2004 - Jan. 2, 2005
 

Spring 1987-Spring 2009 Comparisons