Table of Contents
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Always check for closures at the ODA Shellfish Safety page before clamming or crabbing.
REMEMBER: Open ocean and bay crabbers must mark their pots. See details here.
With summer in full swing, there are plenty of opportunities to get out in the mud and go clamming! Grab a shovel or rake and your shellfish license. Butter, cockle and gaper clams are waiting to be dug. Monitor the weather forecast and the swell and surf advisories before going out to make sure you can safely clam.
Always call the ODA shellfish safety hotline at 1-800-448-2474 or ODA shellfish closures website before harvesting for the most current information about shellfish safety closures.
Spring and summer harvesting of razor clams can be a rewarding endeavor. Unlike the fall and winter, low tides are in the mornings and visibility is much better. Typical to the Oregon coast, the spring and summer brings better weather, which allows harvesters to see razor clams “showing” more readily. Harvesters will still need to make sure to monitor swell and surf advisories as well as predicted wind prior to harvesting. Combined seas greater than 10 feet and winds greater than 20 mph will make harvesting difficult for all, including the most experienced harvester. Spring and summer harvesting can be greatly improved if harvesters actively “pound” to make clams show.
See this article for more information on razor clams, including how to harvest.
Clatsop Beaches (beaches north of Tillamook Head) is closed for razor clam harvest for the annual closure from July 15 through Sept. 30.
Oregon State Patrol officers were busy the first day of the closure, contacting almost 100 clammers and confiscating over 400 razor clams (about 100 pounds). Although the annual conservation closure began in 1967 (55 year ago!) early-closure violations happen every year.
Other areas such as Indian Beach (Cannon Beach); Cannon Beach; Cape Meares Beach (Tillamook); Agate Beach (North of Newport); North Beach and South Beach (Newport); Waldport Beach; North Umpqua Spit (Winchester Bay); Bastendorff Beach and North Spit (Coos Bay); Whiskey Run (Bandon); and Meyers Creek Beach (Gold Beach) will also have razor clams.
Always call the ODA shellfish safety hotline at 1-800-448-2474 or visit the ODA shellfish closures website before harvesting, for the most current information about shellfish safety closures.
Oregon State Parks have tide tables post on their website.
Crabbing along the central coast has dropped off a little over the last week. Ocean crabbing in Garibaldi and Depoe Bay has been producing 4-9 crabs per person. Anglers in Newport are seeing 7-8 crabs per person. Be aware that soft shelled crabs are abundant this time of year.
In addition to Dungeness crab, another Oregon native present in some of Oregon’s estuaries is the red rock crab. Look for them in larger bays with jetties and other rocky habitats. Crabbers can retain 24 red rock crabs of any sex or size. There have also been higher numbers of Pacific rock crab in Yaquina Bay. This crab counts as your “Other” shellfish, which has a daily bag limit of 10 in aggregate with other species that fall in this category (see page 82 of the fishing synopsis for more details). While they look very similar to red rock crab, their long antennae and large claws distinguish them; they sometimes have spots on their abdomen.
Some crabbers in estuaries may also encounter non-native European green crab in their catch this year. While they look similar to Oregon’s native shore crabs, identify them by the three prominent bumps between the eyes and 5 spines down the side of the carapace. They are not always green and color is not a good identifying feature. The daily catch limit for European green crab has just been increased to 35 per person per day. European green crab can be any size or sex. Learn more about this species.
Regulation updates as of July 1, 2022
These are in-season regulation changes adopted on a temporary or emergency basis. Please see for permanent regulations.
- Dungeness crab in the ocean is open.
- Recreational crabbing remains open in bays and estuaries, and on beaches, docks, piers, and jetties along the entire Oregon coast from the Columbia River to the California border.
- For recreational crab harvesters, it is recommended that crab always be eviscerated prior to cooking, which includes removal and discard of the viscera, internal organs, and gills.
- Because of Oregon’s precautionary management of biotoxins, the crab and shellfish products currently being sold in retail markets and restaurants are safe for consumers.
- Before clamming or crabbing, call ODA’s shellfish safety information hotline at (800) 448-2474 or visit the ODA shellfish safety closures web page at: http://ODA.direct/ShellfishClosures
- The consumption of crab viscera is not recommended.
Effective Jan. 1, 2020, recreational crabbers will need to mark all floating surface buoys with the owner’s full name or business name and at least one of the following: phone number, permanent address, ODFW Angler ID number, or vessel identification number. Mark your information in a clear, legible, and permanent manner. While this rule does not apply to gear tied to docks, piers, jetties, or beaches, we recommend marking buoys on any gear that could become derelict or lost. Find more information here.
- The entire Oregon Coast is now open for razor clamming.
- Mussel harvest is now open along the entire Oregon coast.
- Harvest is prohibited.
European green crab
- This invasive species now has a limit of 35 per day to encourage harvest. Learn more about the species.