ODFW Reports Great Whale Sightings, Crabbing on Oregon Coast
Published 07/27/2016 at 6:21 PM PDT - Updated 07/28/2016 at 12:51 AM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff
(Oregon Coast) – Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) just released its weekly report on outdoor recreation and animals around the state, with some especially good news for the ocean beaches. Crabbing is quite good in most spots and your chances of spotting whales are great. (Above: Recent whale encounters on the coast, courtesy Whale's Tail Charters).
State wildlife authorities say crabbing is currently open all around the Oregon coast in the ocean and the bays. ODFW said crabbing in the ocean has actually improved in recent weeks, with some boats out of Waldport's Alsea Bay getting four to six crabs per person at times. The agency also said Winchester Bay and Bandon have been reporting great numbers, while Coos Bay appears to be slower than normal.
ODFW also offered some insight into what's so-so with crabbing right now.
“Many crab have molted recently, making them temporarily soft on the outside and watery on the inside,” ODFW said. “Until the shells harden, the amount of meat extracted from a soft crab can be as little as half that of a crab in good condition, and the quality of the meat is usually stringy and less tasty.”
ODFW said it's best to carefully return soft crab to the water. (Above: Newport's Yaquina Bay).
Red rock crab is good catching right now as well, but the agency said they are not present in all bays. The best places to harvest red rock crabs are in Tillamook Bay, Newport's Yaquina Bay and Coos Bay.
As a safety warning, ODFW recommends always eviscerating crab before cooking and avoiding consumption of crab guts.
Regional whale groups and businesses are reporting that whale watching along the entire Oregon coast has been awesome. Whale's Tail Charters of Depoe Bay, for example, reported last week it had encounters with around 20 whales per day for at least two days.
ODFW reiterated that, saying this past week has been especially good for spotting the watery giants.
Grey whales are migrating to summer feeding grounds near Russia at this time, but plenty stick around here for food stops. Parts of the central Oregon coast – especially Depoe Bay – are rich in mycid shrimp.
“The best time to view whales is on calm days when whale spouts cannot be confused with whitecaps,” ODFW said. “Look for whales as they surface to blow air and occasionally flip their tails above the water. Don’t forget to bring binoculars.” See the Guide to Oregon Coast Whales.
Photo above: a whale and her calf (courtesy Seaside Aquarium)
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