There's been a baby boom for West Coast gray whales for about six years, and a greater number spotted earlier in the season heading north from Los Angeles.

OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY/FLICKR - A Western gray whale off the northeast coast of Sakhalin Island in the Sea of Okhotsk in Russia, taken in 2011.Gray whale sightings are up on the Oregon and Washington coast in recent weeks.

Counts at Oregon's Whale Watching Center at Depoe Bay have been between five and 10 per day, according to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, although many more pass the along the coast undetected.

An American Cetacean Society project in Los Angeles has been tracking the migration for 35 years. Director Alisa Schulman-Janiger says there was a pulse of whales that passed Los Angeles a few weeks back, heading north to feeding grounds in the Arctic.

"It doesn't surprise me you're seeing a nice big bump in northbound grays," Schulman-Janiger said.

In addition, Schulman-Janiger says West Coast gray whales experienced a baby boom over the past six years, and the population has increased significantly.

Oregon's spring Whale Watch Week programs run March 24-31.

This story originally appeared in our news partner, EarthFix.

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