Midspring to midfall is the gray whales feeding season. Most of the whales spend this time off Alaska, although every summer some whales are observed feeding here off Depoe Bay, we call these our resident whales. The summer population off the Oregon coast is about 200 to 400, with many of the same whales returning to Depoe Bay year after year, such as Scarback who has been around since 1987.
There are two basic types of whales, toothed and baleen. The gray whale is a baleen whale. Instead of teeth, they have a row of 130–180 baleen plates that grows along each side of the upper gum line. The baleen is made of material like a human fingernail. Appearing quite stiff and solid at its outer edge, each piece of baleen is fringed inside the mouth and tapers from 3 inches wide at the gum line to nearly a point at its bottom.
Gray whales feed primarily on amphipods, shrimp like animals. They go to the seafloor and suck up an area of the bottom. Sometimes this makes conspicuous holes on the bottom. The amphipods are trapped on the baleen filter inside the mouth, while mud, sand, and water pass between the baleen plates. This is the way the whale washes the amphipods clear of sand and mud. It then uses its tongue to suck the amphipods off the inside of the baleen fringe. Since gray whales filter animals from mud and water, their baleen is stiffer and has coarser fringes than that of other baleen whales.
Join us on exciting zodiac style whale watching adventure at Dockside Charters aboard the Whales Tail.
Depoe Bay Events for April
April 17-18 Wooden Boat Show, Crab Feed, and Ducky Derby
April 27 Fundraiser BBQ for Fleet of Flowers
Thank you for visiting our website, we hope to see you aboard the Whales Tail.
270 Coast Guard Pl.
Depoe Bay, Oregon 97341
Toll Free: 1-800-733-8915