Cannon Beach gazette. (Cannon Beach, Or.) 1977-current, April 08, 2016, Page 3A, Image 3

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    April 8, 2016 | Cannon Beach Gazette | • 3A
Watchers alert as migrating whales pass Oregon Coast
Gray whales make their annual
journey to summer feeding areas
By Lyra Fontaine
Cannon Beach Gazette
Locals and spring break
visitors had the opportunity to
spot gray whales swimming
north, part of the 6,000-mile
round-trip migration the mam-
mals make each year.
Ecola State Park was one
of the 24 designated sites for
the Spring Whale Watch Week
hosted by 2regon State Parks
and Recreation.
About 300 volunteers were
stationed along the coast last
week from March 19 to 26,
helping state park visitors
identify and learn about the
expected 20,000 gray whales
heading to summer feeding
grounds in the Arctic’s Bering
and &hukchi seas.
Volunteers spotted 1,552
gray whales statewide, the
state reported.
whale-watching volunteers
had already spotted 14 whales
on the morning of March 22.
“It’s a good day to see
them,” said volunteer &arl
Hosticka, from Tualatin, using
binoculars to look for whale
spouts. “The sun illuminates
the spouts so they will be eas-
ier to see.”
Gray whales will keep
swimming past the coast until
2ctober or 1ovember, 2regon
State Parks and Recreation
ranger Luke Parsons said.
About 200 resident gray
whales that stay along the
2regon &oast area will also
show up later this spring.
“These whales are the ¿rst-
wave migration, the males
and the immature females,”
Parsons said. “The majority
of the mothers and the calves
start showing up in late April
and May.”
The mothers have to wait
in Mexico with their babies
for a month or two so the ba-
Volunteer Carl Hosticka helps visitors scan for whales.
bies can gain enough blubber
to stay warm in the cold water,
said Bill Hanshumaker, se-
nior instructor at 2regon State
8niversity’s Hat¿eld Marine
Science &enter in 1ewport.
When it gets dark in the
Arctic around 2ctober, gray
whales head back south. Hos-
ticka also volunteered for the
Winter Whale Watch Week in
December, when gray whales
can be seen traveling from the
Arctic to lagoons in Baja &al-
ifornia, Mexico, where they
mate and give birth.
Volunteers, trained with the
Whale Watching Spoken Here
program, taught visitors about
whale migration and feeding
Gray whales, which prefer
to eat organisms near the bot-
tom of the ocean such as small
crustaceans, do not eat much
while migrating.
“There isn’t much for them
to eat along here,” Hosticka
said. “They bulk up and swim
day and night.”
Instead of teeth, gray
whales have rows of bristly
plates called baleens, which
allow them to ¿lter the food
and water they scoop off the
ocean Àoor with their mouths.
“When feeding, you’ll see
them do a blow about three
of four successive times, then
you’ll see their tail,” Hanshu-
maker said. “They scoop up the
marine sediment and use the
baleen to ¿lter out the amphi-
pods that are in that sediment.”
How long does it take for
gray whales to migrate to
the Arctic? It depends on the
“Some of them are in a hur-
ry and it will take them three
or four months, and for some
it takes even longer,” Par-
sons said. “The mothers will
travel quite a bit slower with
their little babies. It’s nonstop
for several months just to get
there. They’re dedicated ani-
The length of an average
female gray whale, 45 feet,
was displayed in the grass us-
ing measuring tape. Females
are usually larger than males,
and their milk is rich, made up
of more than 50 percent fat,
Hosticka said.
Mother gray whales protect
their babies from predators
like killer whales and great
white sharks by staying close
to shore, Hanshumaker said.
2n the journey north from
Baja &alifornia, the babies
continue to nurse and begin
learning how to eat.
“The mothers are teaching
them tricks of the trade,” Par-
sons said.
Two rescued turtles Lancetfish finding puts jogger on guard
headed for SeaWorld Strange
By Lyra Fontaine
Cannon Beach Gazette
It’s been a rough year for
sea turtles, especially for the
endangered olive ridleys. But
for two turtles rescued after
winter storms, a happy end-
ing is in sight.
After treatment at the 2r-
egon &oast Aquarium, Thun-
der and Lightning are headed
to SeaWorld in San Diego,
escorted by the 8.S. &oast
Guard and a rehabilitation
team in March.
Thunder and Lightning
were found comatose, hypo-
thermic and malnourished
following two large storms
that hit the 2regon &oast in
Lightning was found in
Paci¿c &ity and Thunder
washed ashore in Gearhart.
”We had a series of strong
winter storms and they can
strand for a number of rea-
sons,” Lance Beck of the
2regon &oast Aquarium
said Monday. “But typically
when we see them, they’re
As turtles become hypo-
thermic, their metabolism
slows and they go into a
state where they’re alive but
would almost appear dead
if found, Beck said. “That’s
why it’s critical that they get
into care as soon as possi-
Beck said it’s a slow pro-
cess of raising the animal’s
temperature no more than 1
to 2 degrees per day.
Thunder — the Gearhart
turtle — is one of the larger
and stronger turtles to come
through the 1ewport aquari-
um, he said.
The U.S. Fish and Wild-
life Service and U.S. &oast
Guard will Ày Thunder and
Lightning back to warmer
waters as part of a training
The trip was originally
scheduled for earlier this
month, but had to be delayed
due to aircraft scheduling is-
The mission to San Diego
is being included in &oast
Guard drills as an opportu-
nity to train for other emer-
gency situations that could
involve not only animals in
distress, but also passengers
requiring critical care.
After Thunder and Light-
ning leave 1ewport, they
will complete their reha-
bilitation at SeaWorld San
Diego, preparing for release
later this summer.
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156 N. Hemlock • Cannon Beach
washed ashore
at Arcadia
By R.J. Marx
Cannon Beach Gazette
Imagine seeing this as you
go for a jog: a jet-black, near-
ly 6-foot-long creature with a
Gorsal ¿n like barbeG wire anG
teeth sharp as razors. With
lifeless eyes, it looks like it
emerged from Steven Spiel-
berg’s imagination.
That’s what Melinda Sage
Bruton found Wednesday,
March 30, as she headed south
on a run to Arcadia Beach.
At ¿rst the &annon Beach
woman thought it was a barra-
cuda washed ashore.
But after sending a photo
to the Seaside Aquarium, she
learned it was a lancet¿sh,
one of two or three reported
each year, according to Keith
&handler, the aquarium’s gen-
eral manager.
“Those are just the ones re-
ported,´ &handler said. “They
get devoured pretty fast by
gulls and other scavengers.”
After examining Bruton’s
photos, &handler said the ¿sh
had “quite a bit of damage to
its jaw,” indicating it could
have been the victim of anoth-
er lancet¿sh or predator.
“Look at those teeth —
they’re pointed backwards,”
&handler said. “2nce they get
hold of something with those,
it’s a one-way ticket.”
Melissa Keyser, program
coordinator of the Haystack
Rock Awareness Program, de-
termined the discovery was a
longnose lancet¿sh, a species
that submerges as far down as
6,000 feet below the surface
of the sea but may occasion-
ally surface.
“They can reach up to 6
feet in length and are very
common off of the 2regon
&oast,” Keyser said. “While
they are somewhat of a rare
¿nd on 2regon beaches, there
are usually a few reported
sightings each year.”
Bruton is an astute observ-
er of sea life.
Last year she photo-
graphed what she described as
a “sort of jelly creature,” lat-
er identi¿ed as a salp, wash-
ing up on the shore. The salp
looks like a jelly¿sh, but is a
Pelican Brewing Company
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type of tunicate — a marine
invertebrate — which, Bruton
said, “is surprisingly closer in
relation to humans than to jel-
2n the same day Bruton
found the salp, a small white
shark also washed up.
Bruton draws lessons from
her sightings. “The magnif-
icence and majestic power
the ocean brings to the local
communities living along the
coastline welcome a reminder
to the travelers visiting here of
our responsibility to maintain
its home to the many marvel-
ous and abundant creatures;
to respect; to look after and
protect,” she said in an email.
Cannon Beach’s
Largest Selection
of Oregon and
Washington Wine!
Apr 9 • Puffin Rose’ Release
Apr 16 • Spring Fling Wines
Apr 23 • Wine Shack Favorites
Apr 30 • Sunny Day Wines!
May 7 • Best of the Northwest
May 14 • Puffin Wines!
Line Cooks, Prep Cooks, Dishwashers, Managers,
Servers, Bartenders, Hosts, Bussers – All positions!
“Best Wine Shop”
Apply in person at:
1371 SW Hemlock, Cannon Beach
Shack Hours
Sun-Thurs • 11am to 5pm
Fri-Sat • 11am to 6pm
Tasting Room Hours
Saturdays • 1 to 5pm
or send your resume to:
A lancetfish washed to the shore at Arcadia Beach.
Questions? Call Stephanie 503-965-7779 ext. 307
- 2016 Reader’s Choice Award
124 N. Hemlock, Cannon Beach
503.436.1100 -
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Wedding Treats &
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