Alsea Bay
Southwest Zone

Where to crab & clam in Alsea Bay

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. 

An aerial photo of Alsea Bay with colored overlay denoting areas for crabbing and clamming

Areas

Bayshore (BS)

Multiple access points along clamming area. Gapers and cockles found, but digging can be difficult in soft substrates. Purple varnish clams and softshell also found.

Seawall (SW)

Some gapers can be found, but this area does not produce large numbers of clams or support heavy use, (access point #1). Shore crabbing using casting gear can be done in this area where there is access to deeper water along the shore.

Purple varnish clam bed, east of bridge (PV)

Parking at Alsea Bay Interpretive Center, purple varnish clams found just east of bridge, (access point #2).

West of Alsea Bridge (WB)

Cockles and gapers may be found, parking at Alsea Bay Interpretive Center, (access point #2).

Eckman Lake (EL)

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.

Boat launches

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

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