Oregon Coast Wildlife Officials: Recent Reports on Clamming, Whales, Minus Tides
(Oregon Coast) – The latest recreational report from Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) shows some good news for those who want to engage in storm watching, clamming, maybe some minus tides that are coming up and a host of other ways to have fun on the beaches. (Above: on Siletz Bay at Lincoln City)
The next minus tides are coming up February 5 through 9, starting in the afternoons. This, of course, is meaningless if waves conditions are in a manic state.
ODFW said razor clamming on Clatsop beaches – between Seaside and Warrenton – is good these days, conditions permitting.
“Three- and four-inch clams are common.” ODFW said. “Look for a minus tide and combined wave heights of less than 10 feet. An east wind will help knock down the swell; likewise a southwest wind will make surf conditions worse for clamming. This time of year many good clam tides occur after dark, so make sure you keep a wary eye on the ocean. Never turn your back on the ocean when clamming.” (Above: Cannon Beach tide pool areas)
Those wanting to grab mussels along the Oregon coast are lucky: it is open the entire length of the coast. So are bay clams.
State officials don't recommend eating whole recreationally harvested scallops because of possible toxin closures that could happen at any time. However, coastal scallops are not affected by toxin closures when only the adductor muscle is eaten.
ODFW said crabbing in Oregon bays was good in December, even though this is typically a slow month. The lower Columbia River and Alsea Bay at Waldport were particularly good for this.
Huge surf conditions have been present for much of the last week, ODFW said, with some as large as 29 feet. After the storms, a wide variety of pleasant surprises have been found lately.
However, ODFW wants to make sure everyone stays safe during these intensely interesting periods of wave action.
“Don't become so entranced by what you find that you stop paying attention to the ocean,” 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.”
These massive waves have made whale watching difficult as they obscure signs of whales, but before the storms the Whale Watch Center in Depoe Bay was reporting seeing as many as 30 whales per day moving past.
The migrations have essentially stopped at this point, but the whales should start popping up again in March – perhaps earlier than usual.
The Whale Watch Center is reporting that watchers in central California are already seeing them coming back up – a month earlier than normal. The center believes it's possible they could be sighted in this area as soon as early February.
Whale photo courtesy Whale Watch Center
Slightly stormy near Newport
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