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Major Minus Tides on Oregon Coast Now
(Oregon Coast) – The waves are pulling back right now to reveal some dramatic wonders along the beaches. From now until May 11 – and then again later this month – look for minus tides as low as around minus two feet at times in the early mornings (Above: Hug Point, near Cannon Beach).
May and June bring some of the lowest minus tides of the year, partially because of calmer conditions. Mostly however, this is just the cycle of the moon interacting with the tides, sometimes creating enormous drops, like minus two feet or more. This will allow for some mind-boggling discoveries and tide pool explorations. It’s times like these that spectacular hidden spots become briefly accessible, like Crescent Beach at Cannon Beach, chunks of Oceanside not normally seen, and the Devil’s Punchbowl near Newport may become reachable.
For example, on Tuesday on the north Oregon coast, around Manzanita (just south of Cannon Beach), low tide happens at 9:02 a.m. with a stunning minus 2 ft., 1 inch.
For the central Oregon coast, in Newport that same day, it happens at 8:50 a.m. with minus two feet, three inches.
Minus tides begin to get later after that, happening up around noon by May 12. They start to diminish in their distance, getting down to minus nine inches and and minus one inch on May 12.
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) points out that a second series of these will happen May 17 – 26. Both sets will be in the morning.
“A minus tide is an excellent time to visit tide pools and watch the life that was just a few hours ago under as much as 10 feet of water,” ODFW said in a press release. “Look for green anemones, hermit crabs, sea urchins, small fish, jelly fish, sea stars, pinkish corraline algae, lime green anemone, dark green sea lettuce, barnacles and other animals of the intertidal region.”
State officials suggest looking around Cannon Beach (Haystack Rock, Hug Point), farther south down at Seal Rock, Yachats State Recreation Area (or just about anywhere with 10 miles of Yachats), Strawberry Hill State Wayside, Neptune State Park, Sunset Bay State Park, Cape Arago State Park and Cape Blanco State Park. Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area, four miles north of Newport, has outstanding tide pools and rangers on hand to provide tours and answer questions.
ODFW also urges you to stay safe while playing near such low tides.
“Don’t turn your back on the ocean because a large wave may get you wet or worse,” ODFW said. “Also, stay off beach logs. They can roll in the surf and crush you.”
For more information see: www.dfw.state.or.us/MRP/shellfish/bayclams/watchable.asp.
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