Authorities are trying to decide what to do with the massive, rotting carcass of a dead whale that washed ashore at a popular California surfing spot.

Rich Haydon, superintendent at San Onofre State Beach, said Tuesday that officials are deciding whether to attempt towing the carcass by boat out to sea or chop it up and load the pieces onto trucks for removal.

A decision isn't expected for a day or two.

Crowds have braved an overpowering stench to pose for photos in front of the adult gray whale that's about 40 feet long and weighs up to 60,000 pounds.

The whale was discovered Monday at the surf area known as Lower Trestles just south of San Clemente.

Haydon says burial on the beach isn't feasible because the stretch is mostly cobblestones.