A dead whale at Falcon Cove in Arch Cape on the Oregon Coast on Sept. 17, 2016.
© Stephanie Gooch
A dead whale at Falcon Cove in Arch Cape on the Oregon Coast on Sept. 17, 2016.
A dead whale has washed up on the Oregon coast near Oswald West State Park.

Stephanie Gooch, who lives near the state park, said her family spotted the whale on some rocks or a sandbar no more than 300 yards offshore Friday night. Gooch, 37, said she figured it was dead because it wasn't moving much, though the waves made it difficult to tell.

She woke up early Saturday morning and found the whale about 100 yards from one of her neighborhood's two beach entrances. Neighbors believe it's a humpback, and she said it's probably too small to be an adult.

Its stomach was bloated at the time and has since exploded, she said. Its flukes — as the two lobes of the tail are known — were gone. Gooch said it looked as though they had been eaten or picked at.


She said it's surrounded by water now that the tide has gone up.

"I'm not looking forward to low tide," she said. "It's going to be stinky."

Gooch, her husband and daughter moved to the coast from Oklahoma City in July, she said.

She said the family saw some orcas last week and what they think was a gray whale a couple weeks ago.

She said seeing a whale up close — on on a stretch of beach near her home, no less — was "a little surreal."

Gooch said she called the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to report the dead whale.