Oregon winter whale watch week begins Thursday

Oregon winter whale watch week begins Thursday
This blue whale was encountered during a tagging expedition by the OSU Marine Mammal Institute in 2006 near the Channel Islands of California. (Photo by Craig Hayslip, courtesy of OSU Marine Mammal Institute)

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) - The winter whale watch begins Thursday along the coast of Oregon and two neighboring states.
   
The state Parks and Recreation Department trains volunteers to help visitors at 24 lookout points spot gray whales on their southern migration.
   
The spots range from the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center at Cape Disappointment State Park in Ilwaco, Wash., to the Ninth Street Beach in Crescent City, Calif.
   
The Eugene Register-Guard reports that nearly 7,000 people stopped at lookout spots last year and saw a total of more than 1,000 whales.
   
The event runs through Tuesday.