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Winter whale watching awaits on the Oregon coast

Oregon Parks & Recreation Dept.

Gray whales migrate south past Oregon shores to their winter grounds in Baja, Mexico this time of year, but there won’t be staff at any viewing sites. Chris Havel is with Oregon State Parks. He said, because they don’t want to encourage large groups of people to gather, whale watching is a DIY event this year, as it was last year.

“Be aware the best places to do that are the highlands," he told KLCC. "Especially here in the stormy season, going right down on the beach and not paying attention to the waves, but looking sort of far out to the sea is not an especially good idea.”

Havel said there are maps on the Parks and Recreation website, along with tips for what to bring to have the best whale watching experience. The migration season usually lasts until mid-January.

Karen Richards joined KLCC as a volunteer reporter in 2012, and became a freelance reporter at the station in 2015. In addition to news reporting, she’s contributed to several feature series for the station, earning multiple awards for her reporting.