Gray whale spotted in Columbia River near Ridgefield

Animals

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Some excited fisherman spotted a gray whale on the Columbia River on Tuesday.

Three employees of Brad’s Killer Fishing Gear – Carson Grant, JT Kaul and Corky Reed – were testing new fishing gear for the company when they spotted what they believe is a California gray whale following them for about 4 miles. They said they were in the Ridgefield area. The group posted a video of the sighting on Facebook.

Jim Burke, the director of husbandry at the Oregon Coast Aquarium, said the Marine Mammal Stranding Network has “jurisdiction to make a call whether the animal is stranded or not.”

“It’s hard to move a whale and it’s hard to coerce a whale to go the other way so really hoping that the whale decides to go back downriver,” said Burke.

Gray whales are rarely seen in the Columbia River. According to NOAA, they are known for their curiosity toward boats.

“Gray whales are known for their curiosity toward boats in some locations and are the focus of whale watching and ecotourism along the west coast of North America. Gray whales make one of the longest annual migrations of any mammal, traveling about 10,000 miles round-trip and in some cases upwards of 14,000 miles. On their migration routes they face threats from vessel strikes, entanglement in fishing gear, and other sources of disturbance.”

NOAA

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