Oregon Officials Note Upcoming Coast Nature Highlights
(Oregon Coast) – Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) recently released a set of upcoming nature highlights to look for, including those interested in crabbing, clamming, birding and some fascinating aspects of the ocean and beaches (above Netarts Bay)
ODFW said razor clamming on the beaches of Clatsop County has opened back up. This means the area of the Oregon coast with the highest density of clams is again open for harvesting: from Seaside northward. Clamming in that area closes for conservation reasons from July 15 to September 30. The closure did not include Cannon Beach.
The next minus tides come on October 13 and 14, in the evening, ODFW said.
ODFW said mussel season, razor clams and bay clams are open on the entire Oregon coast. These are often quite good in Netarts Bay as well, near Tillamook and Oceanside.
But there are some warnings.
“The consumption of whole recreationally harvested scallops is not recommended. However, coastal scallops are not affected by toxin closures when only the adductor muscle is eaten,” ODFW said in its bulletin.
Call the shellfish safety hotline before harvesting: 1-800-448-2474 or see http://www.dfw.state.or.us/mrp/ then click on the shellfish icon.
“Crabbing in most Oregon bays is good,” ODFW said. “There were some good catches in Coos Bay, and the crabbing in Alsea Bay has picked up. Some crabbers were able to catch limits at times.”
Other bays where crabbing is popular are Newport's Yaquina Bay, the bridge at Seaside's Necanicum River, and Nehalem Bay at Wheeler.
August through November are typically the best times for bay crabbing, ODFW said. But rainfall affects this adversely as it causes salt levels to drop in the water, chasing crabs away.
The ocean is closed to recreational crabbing from October 16 through November 30, but all bay crabbing is open.
ODFW reports the big surf that happened last week deposited some interesting finds: from large logs to small Japanese floats.
Such beachcombing delights are cause for concern for officials, however.
“Don't become so entranced by what you find that you stop paying attention to the ocean, however,”ODFW said. “A large wave could do more than just get you wet if it drags you out to sea or causes logs on the beach to shift and injure you. For your safety, don’t turn your back on the ocean and stay off beached logs.”
ODFW added that given these upcoming storm conditions you'll see much more foamy surf, some of which can perform some stunning stunts – like flying across highways and looking like big chunks of snow.
For birders, many species along the coast, including crows, are starting to molt now and will look a little scruffy.
Watch the waves these days: Neptune State Park.
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