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Tuesday, January 28, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Humpback whales venture into Columbia River


Associated Press Photos Two humpback whales surface near fishermen in North Pass near Juneau, Alaska, in this file photo.
 (Associated Press Photos / The Spokesman-Review)
Associated Press Photos Two humpback whales surface near fishermen in North Pass near Juneau, Alaska, in this file photo. (Associated Press Photos / The Spokesman-Review)

MARINE MAMMALS -- As another anomaly to this year of weird weather and water conditions.

Humpback whales are visiting the Columbia River this week.

Scientists say they’ve been spotted near Astoria, Oregon, just downstream from the bridge to Megler, Washington.

Biologist Deborah Jacques, who studies pelicans, told Oregon Public Broadcasting she’s never seen humpbacks so far from the ocean.

The whales are drawn upstream by food and they have been joined by large numbers of hungry pelicans and sea lions.

Professor Bruce Mate of Oregon State University says El Nino ocean conditions are driving many sea animals toward shore looking for food.



Rich Landers
Rich Landers joined The Spokesman-Review in 1977. He is the Outdoors editor for the Sports Department writing and photographing stories about hiking, hunting, fishing, boating, conservation, nature and wildlife and related topics.

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