Hot on Oregon Coast: Clamming, Crabbing, Whales, Agates
Published 01/08/2016 at 5:53 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff
(Oregon Coast) – Mostly good news for crabbing and clamming along the Oregon coast at the moment, while whales, birds and agates are the sizzling hot attractions. There's more to see than usual this January. (Above: Agate Beach in Newport).
The bad news for the Oregon coast is that razor clamming is closed for most of the area – from Tillamook Head south to the California border. Everything north of there is open, which means only the towns of Warrenton, Gearhart and Seaside allow razor clamming. All other towns along the coast are shut down.
ODFW said this is because of domoic acid levels in the shellfish. The Oregon Dept. of Agriculture (ODA) will continue testing for shellfish toxins as ocean conditions allow. Call the ODA shellfish safety hotline at 1-800-448-2474 before harvesting for the most current information about shellfish safety closures.
While harvesting of razor clams is open on Clatsop County beaches north of Tillamook Head, ODFW said clammers should be wary of high winds, large surf, and dangerous debris from flooding.
The agency also suggested trying bay clamming after dark, as some significant minus tides happen in the evening.
“Take a headlamp or flashlight, warm clothing, and a spirit of adventure,” ODFW said.
ODFW is reporting crabbing has been fair to good recently on the central Oregon coast's bays and in the ocean. Red rock crab – as well as Dungeness – is popular this time of year and can be caught with the same equipment for both. ODFW said Red rock crab are not present in all Oregon bays; good places to harvest them include the docks in Tillamook, Yaquina and Coos bays.
For wildlife viewing, the big highlight is a good proliferation of whales. They will still be plentiful for another week or so.
In the realm of birds, ODFW offered numerous suggestions. (At right: a ghost forest stump at Seal Rock).
The Twilight Eagle Sanctuary, located east of Astoria, just off of Hwy 30 is a great place to observe not only bald eagles, but a host of wintering waterfowl. The Nestucca Bay NWR near Pacific City is host to a variety of Canada geese, including the Aleutian, dusky, western and cackler races. Lots of Great egrets are being seen in Tillamook pastures, especially along the Nestucca, Tillamook, Trask and Wilson rivers. Raptors are also plentiful in these areas.
The biggest news along the Oregon coast is agates at the moment, which are smoking hot, due to recent erosion of beaches. It's also a good time to look for ancient shipwrecks that have uncovered (such as at Rockaway Beach), or remarkable oddities like red towers or ghost forests. Where to stay for this - Where to eat - Map and Virtual Tour
Above: agate photo by Rock Your World agate shop in LIncoln City. Below: ghost forest stumps and red towers.
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