photo of three smiling women each holding a Dungeness crab
Marine Zone

Oregon shellfish regulations

December 6, 2019

Oregon has over 360 miles of coastline -- that's a big sandbox in which to take the family clamming and crabbing. They're open throughout the year and are suitable for everyone in the family. It's fun, it's easy, it's delicious.

The following summarizes the regulations for marine shellfish and invertebrates in the Pacific Ocean, coastal bays and beaches. For complete information, Sport Fishing Regulations books may be obtained at ODFW offices and wherever licenses are sold.

LICENSE REQUIREMENTS: Everyone 12 years and older needs a license to harvest shellfish. Licenses are available for a day or a full-year and can be purchased online, from an ODFW license agents or at an ODFW office that sells licenses.

OPEN SEASON: Entire year and at all hours (exceptions are listed under “Harvest methods and restrictions” in the table below) and except when any state agency has issued a public health advisory.

HEALTH ADVISORIES: Crabbing and clamming occasionally can be closed due to elevated levels of biotoxins or other health issues. ODFW and the Oregon Department of Agriculture monitor shellfish safety on a regular basis to ensure shellfish are safe to eat. Always contact Oregon Dept. of Agriculture (ODA), 800-448-2474 or check their website before you go to learn about any current health advisories.

OPEN AREAS: All areas are open except Marine Gardens, Marine Reserves, Research Reserves, Habitat Refuges, and Shellfish Preserves. These areas have signs indicating their locations and are listed and mapped in the Sport Fishing Regulations book.


  • Waste fish, shellfish or marine invertebrates.
  • Use chemicals to take fish, shellfish or marine invertebrates.
  • Assist in the harvest of another person’s catch except under an Oregon Disabilities Hunting and Fishing Permit.
  • Sell any sport caught fish or shellfish, except the skeletal remains of nongame marine fish.

Shellfish regulations

Abalone No harvest allowed Take of abalone is prohibited.
Razor clams First 15 dug -- no sorting or releasing * Razor clams may be harvest by hand, shovel, clam gun or tube with an opening no less than 4" (cylindrical) or 4" X 3" (elliptical).
* Razor clams are closed July 15 to Sept. 30 north of Tillamook Head (Clatsop County).
* All other clams must be taken by hand or hand-powered tools.
* All razor, gaper, piddock and softshell clams must be retained regardless of size or condition.
* Other species may be returned to the immediate digging area if they are unbroken
* Each digger must have their own container, dig their own clams and may not possess more than one limit of clams while in the clam digging area, except under an Oregon Disabilities Hunting and Fishing Permit.
* See Advisories and Consumption Guidelines.
Bay clams
(butter, littleneck, gaper and cockle)
20 in aggregate, only 12 may be gapers
Purple Varnish Clams 72
Other clams
(softshell, piddock and others not listed)
36 in aggregate
Dungeness Crab 12 -- males only * 5-3/4" minimum size for Dungeness crab
* Correct size is measured as a straight line across the back (caliper measurements) in front of, but not including the points.
* Ocean waters are closed for Dungeness crab Oct. 16 - Nov. 30.
* Bays, beaches, estuaries, tide pools, piers and jetties are open all year, 24 hours a day.
*May be taken using crab rings, baited lines or pots (limited to 3 ring/lines/pots total per person); by hand, dip net or rake.
* Holding pots or devices, or live boxes are allowed only in bays and estuaries, and may not hold more than two daily limits.
* Unlawful to mutilate crabs prior to landing so that size, sex or species may not be identified. Mutilated crabs may not be transported across state waters.
* Floating buoys used for crab pots or rings must be marked in a visible, legible and permanent manner. Information must include the owners first and last name or business name, and at least one of the following: a) permanent address, b) phone number, c) ODFW ID number, or d) a vessel ID number. This rule does not apply when crabbing from a beach, jetty or pier.
Red rock crab 24 of any size or sex
European green crab/five-spined crab 35 of any size or sex
Oysters No harvest allowed. Take of native oysters is prohibited. All cultured oysters are private property and may not be taken without owner's consent.
Scallops 24 * Special permit required -- available from ODFW Newport, Charleston and Astoria offices.
* Scallops may be taken by hand or hand-powered tools.
* Scallops brought to shore shall be whole and in a condition that size may be determined.
* Scallops may not be removed from their shell in the field, except when prepared for immediate consumption.
Mussels 72 May be taken by hand or hand-powered tools.
Shrimp (edible) 20 lbs. in shell May be taken from traps, pots or rings.
Sand and mole crabs, kelp and sand worms, mud and ghost shrimp No limit * May be taken by hand or hand-powered tools.
* Permit required to harvest mud and sand shrimp by mechanical methods. Permit available at ODFW Newport office.
Octopus 1 May be taken by angling, dip net, pot, hand or hand-powered tools.
Squid No limit May be taken by angling (squid and herring jigs allowed), dip net, cast net, hand or hand-powered tools.
Sea urchins, snails, shore crabs and all other marine invertebrates not listed 10 in aggregate * May be taken by hand or hand-powered tools.
* Unwanted marine invertebrates must be immediately released unharmed.
Sea stars No harvest allowed.  

Contact ODFW for more information

  • Astoria (503) 325-2462
  • Newport (541) 867-4741
  • Charleston (541) 888-5515
  • Brookings (541) 412-7364

Este cartel tiene informacion importante acerca de las leyes de pesca de Oregon. Si no cumple con estas leyes se le puede imponer una multa o encarcelar.

Por favor pida a alguien que lea ingles que le explique la informacion contenida en este cartel.

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