Friday, June 18, 2010

Oregon Coast Whale Watching Report For June 18



I would like to thank Steve and Sheri, and their two future boat operators Tanner and Lauren of Prairie du Sac, WI. for riding aboard the Whales Tail.

Whale Bits
Gray Whales, What do they Eat
Gray whales are opportunistic feeders, which means they will eat food from a wide range of sources. Along the coast of Depoe Bay, Oregon, it appears they feed on mysid shrimp found at the edge of kelp beds. Billions of mysids are found in the waters off Depoe Bay. In the Bering and Chukchi Seas in Alaska, they feed on bottom sediments packed with amphipods. There have been studies that have shown that prey items included anphipods, crab larvae, krill, ghost shrimp, pelagic red crabs, skeleton shrimp, mysids, small fish, polychaete worms and other organisms.

How They Eat:
Gray whales are baleen whales and they are in the Mysticeti category which means moustache whale. In place of teeth on the upper jaw, the Mysticetes have a series of overlapping plates made of keratin its the same substance as your fingernails. The inner margin of each plate, next to the tongue, is fringed with bristles that trap organisms but still allows water to pass through.

Feeding:
Hanging from the top jaw of a gray whale are blonde colored baleen plates about one foot long. The inside edges of these plates have bristles which trap food organisms like mysid shrimp or crab larvae. Like all baleen whales, gray whales draw in food-laden sea water and push it through the baleen plates, filtering out food with the bristles.

Heres how it works:
The gray whale depresses its 2000 pound tongue. This forms a suction and a piston that brings in water and small food items. Once the food-laden water is inside the mouth, the tongue is lifted up and the mysids become trapped on the inside edges of the baleen plates and the water leaves through the openings of the baleen plates. The tongue licks these bristles clean and then the prey move through the grapefruit-sized throat. Two to five throat grooves also expand when the whales feed to increase the surface area. Baleen plates hang from the roof of the mouth and these one foot long baleen plates filter food like mysids from the water.

Where They Eat:
Resident gray whales here in Depoe Bay are most commonly seen feeding in and around kelp beds in water depths of 10 feet. Huge swarms of mysids live in these kelp beds during spring, summer and early fall. These huge swarms range from 3 to 20 feet thick and have billions of mysids. One gray whale is estimated to eat a 2,000 pounds of these mysids per day. One sign of grays feeding on these mysids is when a partial fluke is exposed at the surface.

Click to view the latest weather forecast: Marine Weather Forecast

Depoe Bay Events
Boiler Bay Fireworks Display
Highlight your Independence Day celebration.
When: July 3 Dusk
Location: Boiler Bay
Cost: Free

Click on the link below for our whale watching video, I hope to have more videos soon.
http://oceannavigation.blogspot.com/2010/04/awesome-whale-watching-video-on-whales.html

Something new this year we are offering are sweatshirts that have our Whales Tail logo on the back, different colors and sizes are available.

Daily Trip Times
8:00am, 9:30am, 11:00am, 12:30pm, 2:00pm, 3:30pm, 5:00pm, 6:30pm

The coffee is fresh and free, so stop by and say hello.and see what's going on.

Gift Certificates are available year round.

Thank you for visiting our website, we hope to see you aboard the Whales Tail.

Dockside Charters
270 Coast Guard Pl.
Depoe Bay, Oregon 97341

Phone:541-765-2545
Toll Free:1-800-733-8915
 
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