A Beachy Buffet: Surprising Edibles from Oregon Coast Tide Pools

Published 08/08/2015 at 5:05 PM PDT - Updated 08/08/2015 at 5:31 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

(Oregon Coast) – Yes, Virginia. You can eat some of the stuff you find on Oregon coast beaches. Talk to Tiffany Boothe at the Seaside Aquarium, and she'll tell you there are lots of edible objects from the bays, waters and rocky tide pools. (Above: bull kelp).

Sea cucumber: photo Tiffany Boothe, Seaside Aquarium

“It’s obvious that most things are edible - it's whether or not you like them,” Boothe said. “You can eat almost all species of snails, clams, octopuses and fish. Most aren't going to make you sick.”

Boothe’s research has come up with a list of edibles from the tide pool. The table is set for quite the freaky feast. She made quite the list of things that can be consumed by us humans, stuff that most people aren’t aware are edible.

Certain species of limpets. Limpets are related to snails and clams. Gumboot Chitons: these are the largest species of chitons in the world reaching lengths of 13 inches. On average, other species of chitons are about 2 to 3 inches long.

Sea urchins can be eaten, she said. And believe it or not, some people don't know those mussels by the rocks are edible as well.

Some seaweeds are consumable, such as Sea Lettuce and Bull Kelp. The leaves of these are the parts you eat. Also some kinds of jellyfish, such as the water jelly.

Giant barnacle: photo Tiffany Boothe, Seaside Aquarium

The California Sea Cucumber can be gobbled. This is the largest species of sea cucumber in Oregon’s waters. An odd little tidbit: when threatened, the California Sea Cucumber will eject their internal organs. They are able to re-generate them in six to eight weeks.

Giant Barnacle: these are one of the world's largest barnacles. Individually they are five inches high and four inches wide. They are usually roasted and eaten.

Of course Giant Pacific Octopus can be eaten, but catching those will be tricky. Wolf Eels are another edible but elusive catch.

Lastly, scallops and other clams found on the Oregon coast that are fit for a beachy buffet: Rock Scallop, Pink Scallop, Razor Clams, Cockle Clams, Goeducks, Butter Clams, etc.

You don't want to literally pick up and eat something that's been lying on the beach. Especially bull kelp, which you can often find in abundance. More on the Oregon coast below:




 

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