Table of Contents
Nov. 29, 2023
If there’s not a photo, it didn’t happen
Submit your fishing photo to ODFW and we might use it here or elsewhere on MyODFW.com.
Always check for closures at the ODA Shellfish Safety page before harvesting shellfish, which includes clams, crabs and mussels.
Ocean crabbing reopens
Ocean waters reopens to recreational crabbing.
Mark your crab buoys
Crabbers must mark all surface buoys with the owner's full name or business name and at least one of the following: phone number, permanent address, ODFW ID number, or vessel identification number. Remember to always maintain gear to ensure lines and buoys are in good working condition. See details here.
During fall and winter, negative low tides suitable for clamming occur in the evenings. Clammers should be mindful of safety while clamming at dark. Safety measures include not clamming in unfamiliar areas, bringing a reliable light source and avoiding clamming alone. Monitor the weather forecast and the swell and surf advisories before going out to make sure you can safely clam.
Beaver State Podcast: Bay clamming with Mitch Vance
Take a bay clamming trip with Mitch Vance, ODFW shellfish program leader, to learn about different clams and some of the challenges to be ready for when you clam.
Mussels, like clams, are filter feeders and those who like eating clams are likely to find mussels just as delicious. Mussels attach to rocks and other permanent habitat in the intertidal zone, so it is best to go looking for them during a low tide. When harvesting, wear gloves and use a twisting motion to pull mussels off rocks. Be careful when harvesting by the ocean and watch for sneaker waves. Each harvester will need a shellfish license and their own bucket. Learn more here.
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.
Please check the regulation update section above for those areas of the Oregon coast that are open for razor clamming. 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.
Fall and winter harvesting of razor clams can be a challenging but rewarding endeavor. Unlike the spring and summer, low tides are in the evenings and at night when visibility is poor or nonexistent. Typical to the Oregon coast, the fall and winter brings large storm events, which keep the razor clams from "showing" as readily and can also be a safety risk with surging water and debris on the beach.
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. Fall and winter harvesting can be greatly improved if harvesters actively "pound" to make clams show. With winter storms, clams will not show as readily and need an added incentive to do so.
See this article for more information on razor clams, including how to harvest.
Clatsop Beach clammers should expect a moderate abundance of razor clams 3 to 4 inches with a few larger ones available. Targeting the largest "show," greater than a nickel in diameter, will greatly increase the odds of harvesting a larger clam.
Clammers should plan to be on the beach at least two-hours before low tide to ensure plenty of time for a successful harvest. Any low tide that is negative is sufficient to harvest clams on Clatsop Beach if the seas are less than 10 feet. With lots of smaller clams available, clammers need to remember to keep the first 15 they dig, regardless of size or condition.
Clatsop Beach low tides can be found here.
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.
Oregon State Parks have tide tables post on their website.
With the arrival of fall, crabs are mostly hard shelled now and continue to fill with meat. When there has been a lot of rain, crabbing in bays is typically not good since the surge of fresh water from the rivers forces the crab to retreat to the saltier water of the ocean. Crabbing in Newport has been fair. Crabbing in Waldport has been good!
Shore and dock crabbing can still be a great activity in the fall and winter months. A good tool to try is the "castable folding crab trap." Usually attached to a fishing pole, these traps are great for kids because they are lightweight and can catch crab within minutes. No heavy pulling or long wait times! They are available for purchase at most local stores. Happy crabbing!
Some crabbers in estuaries may also encounter non-native European green crab in their catch. While they look similar to Oregon's native shore crabs, identify them by the three prominent bumps between the eyes and 5 spines down each side of their body (carapace). They are not always green and color is not a good identifying feature. The daily catch limit for European green crab is 35 per person per day. European green crab can be any size or sex. Learn more about this species.
Regulation updates as of Dec. 1, 2023
These are in-season regulation changes adopted on a temporary or emergency basis. Please see for permanent regulations.
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
Recreational crabbers must 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.
- Open from the WA border to Cape Blanco
- Closed from Cape Blanco to the Oregon/California border
- Mussel harvesting is open coastwide.
- 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.