Oregon Officials on Coastal Crabs, Clams and Shellfish Right Now
(Oregon Coast) – There are some great minus tides until August 5, but that doesn't always mean that the pickings for shellfish will be great along the beaches.
This is just part of the extensive report just issued by Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) regarding crabbing, clams and other recreational activities.
Razor clams are still closed for harvesting along the 18 miles of Clatsop County because of annual razor clam conservation closure. ODFW has closed the Clatsop beaches to diggings since 1967 to protect newly-set young clams that are establishing themselves on the beach during this time of the year. The Clatsop beaches are the most productive razor clam beaches in the state, accounting for more than 90 percent of the total harvest.
Razor clam digging on the Clatsop beaches will open again on October 1.
Digging for these clams is still open on other state beaches as well as in the bays.
“Harvesters should pay close attention to the surf forecasts and be on the beach one to two hours before low tide,” ODFW said in a press release. “If the forecast calls for combined seas over eight or 10 feet, razor clam harvesting can be very difficult because the clams tend to show much less in those conditions.”
For shellfish like mussels, harvesting has been reopened after the Oregon Department of Agriculture closed it earlier this month due to toxins.
All shellfish harvesting is now open from the Columbia River to the California Border, which includes places like Cannon Beach, Newport, Coos Bay, Brookings, Warrenton, Yachats, Waldport and Rockaway Beach, among numerous others.
The consumption of whole recreationally harvested scallops is not recommended, however. Coastal scallops are not affected by toxin closures when only the adductor muscle is eaten.
Please call the shellfish safety hotline before harvesting as these conditions could change at any time: 1-800-448-2474.
Crabbing along the Oregon coast is still so-so, with lots of crabs being caught but many of them are newly-molted male crabs with soft shells. These are fine to eat, but simply not as tasty as when they're full of meat.
Recreational crabbing in the ocean is open along the entire Oregon coast until October 16.
The ODFW crabbing report shows average number of legal-sized Dungeness crab per person in various ports: check it out.
Some sport crabbers have difficulty correctly measuring the minimum size for Dungeness crab, which is 5 3?4 inches measured in a straight line across the back immediately in front of, but not including, the points. See an illustration showing the correct measurement.
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