Oregon Coast Crab Meat, Crabbing at Their
|Newport's Yaquina Bay and bridge.
(Newport, Oregon) - It's the most wonderful time of the
year, and not just in a holiday kind of way. It's a season of great gifts
for those who love crabbing on the Oregon coast.
Dungeness crab is at its best quality about now, according
to Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) - better than many years.
The commercial crabbing season is also now in full swing, having opened
earlier in November, which means that private citizens can head out for
a bit of adventure by going crabbing on the ocean.
snagged 12.3 million pounds of the critters last year in Oregon, and the
meat is thick and full this year, say officials.
|One of Newport's many docks
Catching the coveted crustaceans is open year round in
the numerous Oregon coast bays and estuaries, but only during commercial
crabbing season can members of the public snag them from the deep.
“Right now is the prime time for crabbing,”
said Brandon Ford, an ODFW spokesman in Newport. “It’s the
best conditions throughout winter and into the spring. The pre-season
testing of ocean crab for the commercial fishery showed that crabs had
hard shells and were full of meat.”
|Nehalem Bay shows its love of the crab
Ford said that crabmeat is typically at its best this time
of year, as they are plump and full of meat after filling their new shells
with body mass since the molting season that happened earlier this year.
Newport alone has dozens of crabbing spots along the enormous
Yaquina Bay, where crabbing is allowed year round. It’s also known
as the “Dungeness Crab Capitol of the World,” partially because
the area’s fishing fleet has broken many records for crab hauls
in recent years.
|Commercial boat on Newport's Yaquina Bay
Other Oregon coast bays provide plenty of crabbing opportunities,
such as Nehalem Bay, Tillamook Bay, Waldport’s Alsea Bay, the Siuslaw
River (at Florence), Netarts Bay, Nestucca Bay and Seaside’s Necanicum
River and bay. There, the 12 Ave. Bridge is a hotbed for fishermen, with
their lines looped over the railings. But crabbing is hot here as well.
"You can crab in Young's Bay or out of Hammond,
but you need a boat," said Keith Chandler, manager of Seaside Aquarium.
"The 12th Avenue Bridge is popular because you need a boat in the
Necanicum Bay, and restrooms and all sorts of other conveniences are nearby."
|Docks at Nehalem Bay
In some of these bays, red crab can be caught as well.
With commercial crabbing season up and running, the ocean
will be open for crabbing to private citizens. There are, of course, a
limited number of nice, calm days for this endeavor, but Ford said those
hardy souls interested in this adventurous form of crabbing are growing
in numbers – and they are often rewarded.
it’s been a pretty calm year on the waves so far.
“When ocean conditions permit, anglers can combine
crabbing and bottom fishing in one trip,” Ford said. “I believe
there are more people looking for those opportunities. The crabs are generally
bigger in the deep ocean, although it is often a matter of luck, like
any sport fishing.”
Ford stressed that the bay is still the best place to find
the Dungeness crab, especially for those new to the sport. He pointed
to one special spot in South Beach where crabbing is prime – the
long dock that stretches a couple hundred feet out into the bay.
“In South Beach, there’s that dock that goes way into the
water, and it’s mostly used for fishing,” Ford said. “But
you can crab from there. It’s excellent. I strongly encourage anyone
who hasn’t tried it before to come out here and do a little crabbing.
It’s really fun.”
Aside from numerous crabbing spots all along Yaquina Bay,
some bayside lodgings provide crab cookers for guests, such as the Landing
|Great crab meat means excellent grub at eateries like Bay City's
For the adventurer, however, there are about ten charter
boat services running out of Yaquina Bay, many of which provide deep-sea
fishing and crabbing opportunities.
In the Nehalem Bay, Jetty Fishery provides boats, docks
and crabbing rentals, on top of cooking opportunities. Some other hotels
along the coast provide crab-cooking spots for guests, as do several other
Other benefits for crabbers this time of year include what is called the
“value season” in Newport, which refers to the lower lodging
prices – sometimes close to 50 percent less than in summer season.
There are lower prices on just about everything in the Newport area as
well as the rest of the coast. Lodging prices are less everywhere, with
the higher end hotels dropping their prices more than the less expensive
You must have an annual shellfish license to go crabbing
- the cost of which is $6.50 per year. For more information on Oregon
coast crabbing, see www.dfw.state.or.us/MRP/shellfish/crab/,
or call ODFW’s Newport office at 541-867-4741
Rockaway Beach. All rooms are immaculate and have TV’s, VCR’s
and in-room phones w/ data ports. Oceanfronts have queen bed, a
double hide-a-bed, kitchen, cozy firelog fireplace and private deck.
Both types sleep up to four people. Others are appointed for a two-person
romantic getaway, yet still perfect for those on a budget. Elaborate
oceanfront Jacuzzi suite has two bedrooms, kitchen, double hide-a-bed,
fireplace and private deck, sleeping as many as six. For family
reunions or large gatherings such as weddings, some rooms can connect
to create two-room and three-room suites. Some rooms pet friendly.
523 N. Pacific St., Rockaway Beach. (503) 355-2112 - 1-800-824-0938.
at Cannon Beach. Beautifully wooded natural setting at quiet south
end of Cannon Beach. Great during winter storms with a new book by
the fireplace – or when the sun is out for family fun and beach
strolling. Handsome beach cottage-style architecture. Lush flowering
gardens and naturalized courtyard pond. Warm, inviting guest rooms.
Continental buffet breakfast. Warm Cookies. Family and Pet Friendly.
Welcome gifts. Smoke-free. Complimentary Wireless Connectivity. Wine
and book signing events. 800-321-6304 or 503-436-9085. Hemlock At
Surfcrest, Cannon Beach, Oregon. www.atcannonbeach.com.
Ocean Lodge. There will not be another property built
like this in Cannon Beach in our lifetimes. Rare, premiere ocean
front location; handsome, dramatic architecture and tasteful, fun
(nostalgic) beach interiors. Overlooks Haystack Rock. 100 percent
smoke free. Imaginative special occasion packages. Massive wood
burning lobby fireplace. Library w/ fireplace, stocked with impressive
book collection. Pet and family friendly. Lavish continental buffet
breakfast. In-room fireplaces, mini-kitchens. Jacuzzi tubs in select
rooms. DVD players, complimentary movies. Morning paper. Warm cookies.
888-777-4047. 503-436-2241. 2864 Pacific Street. Cannon Beach, Oregon.
Cape Property Services.
Dozens of homes in that dreamy,
rugged stretch between Cannon Beach and Manzanita known as Arch
Cape. Oceanfront and ocean view , or just a short walk from the
All homes are immaculate and smoke free; some pet friendly (with
a fee). Some with broadband, indoor or outdoor hot tubs, fireplaces,
decks, and fire pits or barbecues. Call about tempting winter specials
that go until March (not valid holidays, however). www.archcaperentals.com
Oregon Coast News Stories of the Year What
an interesting time 2008 was
Transformations of Oregon Coast Beaches Seasons change
and so do beaches, revealing different sides and a variety of eye-popping
Cool Ideas for Oregon Coast Romance Be it the season
of Valentine's or be it any time of the year, Oregon's coastline has
essentially cornered the market for cuddle-inducing possibilities and
gushy activities for the hand-holding set
or Night Mysteries and Merriment on Oregon Coast It's
more than just nightlife that comes to life, but the beaches offer major
Coast Travel Site Goes Wireless Provides Lodging Reports
- Oregon Coast Beach Connection now has mobile lodging and dining listings,
along with weekly lodging availability reports
/ ADVERTISE ON BEACH CONNECTION
coast mileage chart & map
trips, suggested itineraries
for Oregon Coast Subjects, Articles
Coast Real Estate
Things to Do
Coast Complete Guides every beach access,
TAKE THE VIRTUAL TOUR
Where the Columbia meets the Pacific,
Land of Lewis & Clark and loads of atmosphere & history
The Promenade, Tillamook Head, family
fun & broad, sandy beaches
A mysterious lighthouse, upscale
yet earthy, a huge monolith, fine eateries & an art mecca
Manzanita's beaches, Nehalem and
Wheeler's quirky beauty; laid back Rockaway
Garibaldi, Barview, Bay City, Tillamook
& an oceanfront ghost town
The hidden secret of the coast: Cape
Meares, a lighthouse, Oceanside, Netarts and Pacific City
A spouting horn downtown, freaky hidden
cliffs and whales, whales, whales
Time-tripping Nye Beach, a bustling
bayfront, marine science-central and two lighthouses
Constantly dramatic wave action, a mix of the rugged &
A lighthouse, ancient bayfront and miles and miles of fluffy