Sharks in Oregon

The coast of Oregon has around 15 shark species, including the dangerous great white responsible for 27 of the 28 unprovoked attacks in the state.

The International Shark Attack File’s database has recorded 31 shark attacks in Oregon. The only fatal attack occurred in 1975, which took the life of a 62-year-old woman. However, the tragedy resulted from a sea disaster, and the sharks underwater attacked the woman when her fishing boat sank along the Oregon coast. The latest attack occurred in 2020, where  Cole Herrington, a surfer, wounded his leg, ankle, and foot after a great white shark bit him near Seaside Cove.

List of the Different Types of Sharks in Oregon

Species  Maximum Size Aggressiveness
Blue Shark 6-11 feet Not aggressive
Great White Shark 11-16 feet Highly aggressive
Spiny Dogfish 2.5-3.5 feet Not aggressive (due to their small size)
Salmon Shark 8-10 feet Not aggressive
Soupfin Shark 5-6 feet Not aggressive
Common Thresher Shark 12-18 feet Not aggressive
Basking Shark 23-30 feet Not aggressive
Bluntnose Sixgill Shark 15-18 feet Not aggressive (unless provoked)
Pacific Sleeper Shark 12-15 feet Not aggressive
Shortfin Mako Shark 6.5-9.5 feet Highly aggressive
Broadnose Sevengill Shark 3.5-7.5 feet Not aggressive (unless caught)
Leopard Shark 6-7 feet Not aggressive
Pacific Angelshark 4-5 feet Highly aggressive
Brown Smooth-hound 1.5-2.5 feet Not aggressive
Small-spotted Catshark 1.5-3 feet Not aggressive
Brown Catshark 1-2 feet Not aggressive

Interesting Facts

  • A dead shark with a height and weight of 9 feet and 120 pounds was found along the shores of the Oregon Coast in June 2022.
  • In 2021, a crew of the United States Coast Guard captured a 10-12 feet long great white swimming close to their vessel for a couple of minutes about two miles off the Oregon Coast. The crew members were elated at the sight of the shark, considering themselves fortunate enough to spend around ten minutes with this lovely creature.

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Bull sharks do not inhabit the Columbia River and other rivers of Oregon since they prefer to live in warmer waters.

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