Regulation updates as of June 11, 2021
These are in-season regulation changes adopted on a temporary or emergency basis. Please see for permanent regulations.
- Recreational crabbing is 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.
- Recreational crabbing is closed in the ocean from Oct. 16 through Nov. 30.
- 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.
- CLOSED from the Columbia River to Cape Lookout just south of Netarts Bay. This includes the Clatsop County beaches.
- OPEN from Cape Lookout to the CA border.
- Mussel harvest is now open along the entire Oregon coast.
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CRABBING AND CLAMMING UPDATES
With the arrival of spring, bay clamming opportunities increase with early morning low tides. Many different species can be found in many estuaries at different tide levels. By spending a small amount of time learning where specific clam species can be found, you can use the low tide more effectively.
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.
In addition to the toxin closure from the Columbia River to Cape Lookout, razor clamming is closed on Clatsop Beach (Tillamook Head by Cannon Beach to the mouth of the Columbia River) from July 15 through Sept. 30 for the annual conservation closure. This closure protects newly-set young clams and gives them a chance to establish on the beach during the summer.
Effective Jan. 1, 2020, recreational crabbers must mark all floating surface buoys with a name and other identifying information. See more information in the Regulation updates section above. 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.
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 also falls in the “Other shellfish” category and is 10 in aggregate with other species that fall in this category (see page 82 of the fishing synopsis for more details). European green crab can be any size or sex.
The entire Oregon coast is now open to mussel harvest.
Always check for closures at the ODA Shellfish Safety page before clamming or crabbing. http://ODA.direct/ShellfishClosures.