Updated: Officials: Now is Great Time for Oregon Coast Fishing, Crabbing
Published 07/09/2015 at 5:04 PM PDT
(Oregon Coast) – State officials say during these recent extended heat waves, yet another reason to head to the Oregon coast is ocean salmon fishing. The entire coastline was opened for Chinook and fin-clipped coho on July 1.
Beyond that, crabbing is good on the ocean and it's getting better in the bays.
With ocean salmon fishing really taking off right about now, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) officials wanted to relay some tips for anglers. They say you can reduce the stress from catch-and-release fishing by following a few precautions.
First, fish early in the mornings when water temperatures are lower. Also, it helps to fish in lakes and reservoirs with deep waters that provide a cooler refuge for fish.
“Use barbless hooks, land fish quickly and keep them in the water as much as possible in order to minimize stress,” ODFW said. “Shift fishing efforts to higher elevation mountain lakes and streams where water temperatures often remain cooler. “
The agency added that warmwater fish like bass, crappie and bluegill also feel the effects of the heat, so follow these precautions in all your summer fishing.
ODFW said ocean crabbing is excellent right now. Larger ocean crab from off the waters of the central Oregon coast are currently molting, so a soft shell means the meat will be watery. A good bet will be smaller crabs that have not yet molted as they will have thicker meat. A sign the shell has been around awhile is when you find barnacles on it.
“Bay and ocean crabbers might run into red rock crab as well as Dungeness crab,” ODFW said. “Red rock crab is a native species but is not present in all of Oregon’s bays. Good places to try are from the docks in Tillamook Bay, Yaquina Bay, and Coos Bay.”
Red rock crab are caught just like Dungeness, and these have a larger daily limit of 24. Unlike Dungeness crab, any size or sex of red rock crab can be retained, but most crabbers keep only the largest ones which have much more meat than small ones.
For clamming, razor clamming is still banned along the entire length of the Oregon coast due to deadly toxins. Other types of clam are still open for harvesting.
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