Lots of Clamming, Crabbing, Birds, Tide Pools, Whales on Oregon Coast
(Oregon Coast) – The weekly recreational report from Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife spells out lots of intriguing stuff to see and do on the Oregon coast in the coming week or two, from gray whales, killer whales, elk, birds, clamming, crabbing and tiny critters in tide pools (photo above from Seaside Aquarium).
ODFW said this week that these minus tides we’re experiencing will be excellent for clamming. There’s a series of negative tides from May 14 to the 22, but also two more early morning negative tides on May 30 and 31.
The north coast stretch from Seaside to Warrenton is where clamming is often most prolific.
The agency said consumption of whole recreationally harvested scallops is not recommended. However, coastal scallops are not affected by this closure when only the adductor muscle is eaten.
The Oregon Department of Agriculture's shellfish safety hotline is toll free and provides the most current information regarding shellfish safety closures. The ODA Web pages may not be updated as quickly as the shellfish safety hotline. Please call the shellfish safety hotline before harvesting: 1-800-448-2474.
Check out the recreational clam pages on the ODFW Web site: http://www.dfw.state.or.us/mrp/ then click on the shellfish icon
ODFW also suggests to engage in tidepooling this week.
“Some of the best are in state parks and recreation areas, including Haystack Rock, Hug Point, 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,” the agency said in a press release. “Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area, four miles north of Newport, has outstanding tide pools and rangers on hand to provide tours and answer questions.”
There are also some stunning tide pools at the base of Haystack Rock in Cannon Beach.
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.
Killer whales are still being spotted on the central Oregon coast, according to ODFW. They are more often seen in the Depoe Bay and Newport areas, but they can be spotted from Cascade Head all the way down to Florence, but mostly this year they’ve been seen between Newport and Depoe Bay.
While the spring migration is simmering down, there are still gray whales aplenty, along with the coveted killer whale sightings. Gray whales migrate through the central coast waters in great numbers until June. Then the so-called summer whales begin to show up, because of the abundant food supply here.
For those who love birding, shore birds will show up at the end of April through the first week or two of May. Oregon coastal bays and estuaries will be covered with tens of thousands of shore birds stopping to feed and rest on their way to breeding grounds in the south.
Wildlife viewing is still in high gear in some spots. Elk are big all along the coast and coast range, including Jewell Meadows Wildlife Area. Also there, band-tailed pigeons, swallows, wood ducks, hooded mergansers, and mallards.
In Tillamook County, Vaux’s Swifts are back, ODFW said. May is when these birds come back to the former Wilson Elementary School in Tillamook, to roost in the old chimney of the building. Also look for whimbrels.
At the Three Arch Rocks National Wildlife Refuge in Oceanside, you may get a glimpse of peregrine falcons and/or bald eagles roosting on the rocks. Nearly always present as well are the stellar sea lions.
Netarts Bay is host to a wide variety of birds during the spring, like sea ducks, grebes and loons.
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