Just a few miles south of Newport, the town of Waldport (population 2,000) is on the shores of Alsea Bay. It is one of Oregon’s estuaries that does not have jetties at the ocean entrance. Strong outgoing tides and ocean swell can make boating near the mouth of the bay more dangerous. Use caution and be prepared if you crab in this area.
These charts depict popular, productive shellfishing areas. Many other areas have these species but may be less popular to access. Additionally, many other species of shellfish, some popular for harvest (e.g. bait shrimp, razor clams, etc.) may be present, but not represented here.
Multiple access points along clamming area. Gapers and cockles found, but digging can be difficult in soft substrates. Purple varnish clams and softshell clams also occur.
Some gapers can be found, but this area is mainly targeted for harvesting cockles by raking in the sand and into the smaller channel adjacent the seawall (access point #1). Crab by shore using casting gear where there is access to deeper water along the shore.
Parking at Alsea Bay Interpretive Center, purple varnish clams found at high densities just east of bridge (access point #2).
Cockles and gapers may be found in addition to some purple varnish clams. Parking available at Alsea Bay Interpretive Center (access point #2).
Softshell clams can be found in many of the muddy areas below the salt marsh. Parking is available along highway 34 directly across from Eckman Lake. This area can be soft and difficult to navigate.
Boat launches in Alsea Bay can be found at the following locations:
The Port of Alsea boat launch - located off Port St., at the north ends of Broadway and Mill streets, off Hwy 34 (fee applies).
McKinley’s Marina – 850 NE Alsea Hwy (Hwy 34) (fee applies).
Information provided is a result of ODFW creel and population surveys, spot checks, and input from local residents. The purpose of this map is to provide the user with information and locations of recreational shellfish areas where the most likelihood of success may be found by species. Clam species identified within a particular area represent the most abundant found; other species may be present or may exist in areas not identified on the map. This is to be used as a reference as sandbars, clam beds, and species composition can shift over time. Always use caution when boating/crabbing in the lower bay as swift currents during tidal exchanges can occur, and result in loss of gear or cause boat to be pulled out to sea if mechanical problems arise. Developed 2014.
Header photo by Alex Derr, Flickr
Crabbing can be good year-round but the best catches are in the winter. Tidal flats throughout the bay produce lots...
Nehalem Bay offers both beach and boat access to softshell and purple varnish clam beds.