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Free Crabbing, Clamming, Fishing on Oregon Coast This Weekend

Published 02/14/2020 at 4:08 AM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Free Crabbing, Clamming, Fishing on Oregon Coast This Weekend

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(Oregon Coast) – Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) is giving everyone a present for President’s Day Weekend: free fishing, clamming or crabbing around the state, valid Saturday and Sunday, February 15 and 16. Anywhere in the state requires no fishing license or tags, and on the Oregon coast it means clamming and crabbing does not need the usual paperwork. This is for state residents and out-of-state visitors. (Above: crabbing in Charleston, photo courtesy Oregon's Adventure Coast).

While no licenses or tags are needed, all other fishing regulations apply, such as any closures, bag limits or size restrictions. You can see these on the Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations page.

ODFW posts a recreation report every week, which includes detailed tips on various Oregon coast activities – not just crabbing and clamming – such as wildlife, tidepools and whales.

Currently it’s prime winter steelhead fishing season on the north and central Oregon coast.

“If you are planning to fish for salmon, steelhead or marine fish, don’t forget to check the zone where you are fishing in ODFW’s Recreation Report for the latest on season and bag limits because regulations for these species change in-season,” ODFW said in a release.

All along the Oregon coast, crabbing opened up on February 13. However, razor clamming is experiencing some issues because of elevated toxin levels, with the majority of the state now closed to recreational gathering of the shellfish – from Tillamook Head (Cannon Beach) all the way to the southern border at California. This includes all bays and beaches in that roughly 340 miles of Oregon coastline. Clamming is still open from Seaside northward, however. Bay clamming and mussel harvesting are open along the entire coast. Always call the ODA Shellfish safety hotline at 1-800-448-2474 or check ODA’s Recreational Shellfish page before going crabbing or clamming. The Oregon Department of Agriculture regularly tests shellfish and closes areas when naturally occurring biotoxins get to levels that make crabs and clams unsafe to eat.

ODFW said to take safety precautions when clamming on the coast during the winter.
Watch out for rough ocean conditions and sneaker waves and don’t turn your back on the ocean. More clamming safety tips.

There are some rather large waves offshore this weekend, with combined seas around 16 feet and 13 seconds period timing (space between the waves) on the north half of the coastline. That timing could create some slight hazards on the beaches. On the southern coast, combined seas are closer 11 feet over Saturday and Sunday and pose less potential dangers. See the Oregon Coast Weather page.

When it comes to fishing inland, beginner anglers should have a good time with hatchery trout, which can be found at various locations in the Willamette, southwest zones and along the mid-coast region. ODFW said all were stocked this week. See this link.

Some locations received larger three-pound broodstock trout (Henry Hagg Lake-500, St Louis Pond-500, E.E. Wilson Pond-500, Sheridan Pond-150, Willamina Pond-150).

For tips on how to fish, crab or clam and where to go, visit www.MyODFW.com

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