Regulation updates as of Nov. 18, 2019
These are in-season regulation changes adopted on a temporary or emergency basis. Please see for permanent regulations.
Coming soon: Beginning 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.
Whether you’re out digging clams or setting crabpots, we’d love to see photos of your visit to the coast. When you submit your photos to ODFW they could appear on our website or signs, or in social or brochures. What a great way to share your experience with others!
Always check for closures at the ODA Shellfish Safety page before clamming or crabbing.
As of Nov. 6, the recreational harvest of razor clams is CLOSED from the south jetty of the Siuslaw River to the California border for elevated domoic acid levels. This includes all beaches and all bays.
Clatsop Beach razor clam season opened on Oct. 1. The best low tides have switched to the evenings so harvesters should plan accordingly. Clammers should expect a high abundance of razor clams 3 ½ inches or less. Targeting the largest “show,” greater than a nickel in diameter, will greatly increase the odds of harvesting a larger clam.
Razor clam season starts to slow down at beaches south of Clatsop as the end of good daytime negative low tides approaches.
Fall and winter harvesting of razor clams can be a challenging 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 20mph will make harvesting difficult for all, including the most experienced harvester.
Check out the for places to find them. You can also get more clamming maps or at the coastal ODFW offices.
Always call the ODA shellfish safety hotline at 1-800-448-2474 or website before harvesting for the most current information about shellfish safety closures.
Coming soon: Beginning Jan. 1, 2020, recreational crabbers will need to 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. .
Crabbing in the Coos Bay estuary is picking up as we head into the winter months. Crabbing by boat and setting pots near the jetties yields the most crab. Dock crabbing in Coos Bay has been slow.
Central coast crabbing in Alsea has been moderate to good. Yaquina Bay has seen fair to poor returns by boat. Crabbers are landing fuller crab.
Crabbing in Tillamook Bay has been fair and moderate in Netarts Bay.
In addition to Dungeness crab, another Oregon native present in some of Oregon’s estuaries is the red rock crab. 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 year. 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 encounter non-native European green crab in their catch this year. While they look similar to Oregon’s native shore crabs, they can be identified 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.