Recreation Report

Marine Zone

Regulation Updates

Regulation updates as of Dec. 4, 2018

These are in-season regulation changes adopted on a temporary or emergency basis. Please see e-regulations for permanent regulations.

ABALONE SUSPENDED

Effective March 16, 2018, the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission issued a three year closure for harvest of abalone in Oregon.

Harvest of scallops remains open, per the 2018 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations. Permits are issued through Charleston, Newport and Astoria offices.

DUNGENESS CRAB

  • Recreational crabbing is closed from Cape Blanco to the California border due to domoic acid level.
  • It is recommended that crab be eviscerated and the guts or butter discarded prior to cooking. When whole crab are cooked in liquid, domoic acid may leach into the cooking liquid and should be discarded.
  • The consumption of crab viscera is not recommended.

RAZOR CLAMS

  • The annual conservation closure for the Clatsop County beaches (from Columbia River south to Tillamook Head) has been extended through Feb 28, 2019 due to small clam sizes.
  • Open from Tillamook head south to the north jetty of the Umpqua River.
  • Closed from the south jetty Umpqua River to the OR/CA border.

MUSSELS

The entire Oregon coast is now open for mussel harvest.

Recreation Report

RAZOR CLAMS

Given the lower than average abundances of razor clams on popular beaches, harvesters will need to actively pound the sand for razor clams to show. Harvesters should plan to be on the harvest area at least two hours before low tide and focus on sections of the beach that show exposed sand bars as these areas could have more clams showing than other areas.

Reminder that the conservation area closure from the Columbia River to Tillamook Head will stay closed until at least March 1, 2019. The area from the south jetty of the Umpqua River to the CA border also remains closed due to domoic acid.

BAY CLAMS

Bay clamming is open along the entire Oregon Coast from the Columbia River to the California border. Check out the Where to Clam articles for places to find them. During fall and winter, low tides generally occur in the evening. While clams can still be harvested, make sure you are familiar with the area before venturing out on the mudflats in the dark.

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.

CRAB

Oregon’s bays experience a high volume of crabbers moving into fall. Most bays report variable catch success. Crab are filling out their shells, providing good quality meat.

Crabbing in the Coos Bay estuary and lower Coquille estuary have been very good. Boat crabbers are doing well setting their pots near the jetties. Dock crabbers are picking up some legal Dungeness crabs on the docks in Charleston and at Weber’s Pier in Bandon.

Central coast crabbing in Alsea, Yaquina, and Siletz bays has improved over the past few weeks.

Crabbing in the autumn and winter can be fun and rewarding. The next two to three months are often considered the best time of year for crabbing. Crab generally molt during the summer and as they grow into their shells over time, yield bigger crab filled with tasty meat.

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. This year, large numbers of non-native European green crab have also been reported from Oregon’s bays and estuaries. They can be identified by the three prominent bumps between the eyes and 5 spines down the side of the carapace. The daily catch limit for European green crab is 10 crab of any size or sex.

Recreational crabbing from Cape Blanco to the California Border is closed due to domoic acid levels.

Be sure to observe weather warnings and bar restrictions and use your best judgement for a safe and enjoyable experience.