Here’s a safety message from Caltrans:
Approximately six weeks ago, a mother gray whale and her calf entered the Klamath River and lingered below the Klamath River Bridge on U.S. Highway 101 in southern Del Norte County.
As of last weekend, the calf had returned to the ocean, however the mother whale (approximately 50 feet long) remains near the bridge. Scientists are concerned for her health and are trying to herd her back into the ocean.
Meanwhile, Caltrans and CHP are concerned about the safety of whale watchers.
They wish to advise motorists to use caution when traversing the Klamath Bridge area and to not stop on the bridge. According to Officer Larry Depee of CHP, “It is illegal to make a non-emergency stop there, the shoulders aren’t wide enough, and you can be cited for it.”
Pedestrians are advised to use caution when crossing the bridge and make sure it’s safe to do so without impeding traffic. District 1 Director Charlie Fielder said, “I wish to urge motorists and pedestrians alike to use extreme caution and to keep your safety and the safety of others in mind.”
The Yurok Tribe and the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are attempting to coax the whale to return to the ocean using boats and various other methods.