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Recreational Crabbing Reopens on Just About All of Oregon Coast

Published 12/10/22 at 6:25 PM
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Recreational Crabbing Reopens on Just About All of Oregon Coast

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(Oregon Coast) – Recreational crabbing is back along just about all of the Oregon coast, after a sizable shut down of the activity in recent weeks. This was due to the presence of the biotoxin domoic acid above the threshold limit for public safety, causing the area from just north of Winchester Bay all the way down to the California border to be closed off for harvesting of things like Dungeness crab. (Photo above courtesy Washington Department of Wildlife)

Now, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) and Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) have reopened most of that region, except for a 60-mile stretch of south Oregon coast from Cape Blanco to just north of Winchester Bay (43 degrees 47’ at Tahkenitch Creek). That remains closed, which includes Coos Bay, Charleston, Bandon and Langlois.

All recreational crabbing remains open from eight miles north of Winchester Bay to the Washington border. A map of the open and closed areas is available online. The Washington coast is all open for recreational crabbing as well.

However, for commercial uses, the Dungeness crab season remains closed along all of the California coast, Oregon coast and Washington coast. Dungeness Crab Season Delayed Further on Oregon Coast, Washington Coast 

Razor clamming is closed along the Oregon coast and Washington coast as well, also because of the biotoxins issues.

Photo Oregon Coast Beach Connection

Recreational bay clam and mussel harvesting also remain open along the entire Oregon coast.

The reopening of recreational crabbing for most of Oregon's shoreline includes all relevant bays such as Alsea Bay at Waldport, Yaquina Bay at Newport, or Nehalem Bay at Nehalem and Wheeler, to name a few. However, regular south coast hotposts like Charleston, Bandon and Winchester Bay are not open.

ODA tests for shellfish toxins twice per month, as tides and weather permit. Reopening an area closed for biotoxins requires two consecutive tests with results below the closure limit.

Domoic acid is naturally produced by algae in the ocean and is dependent on ocean conditions. Eating crab or clam meat with the biotoxin can result in serious illness or even death.

ODFW said it is recommended that recreational crab harvesters always eviscerate crab before cooking. This includes removing and discarding the viscera, internal organs, and gills.

For more information, call ODA’s shellfish biotoxin safety hotline at (800)448-2474, the Food Safety Division at (503) 986-4720, or visit the ODA shellfish biotoxin closures webpage.

Contact ODFW for recreational license requirements, permits, rules and limits.

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Photo courtesy Newport's Lincoln County Historical Society

Photo courtesy Hatifield Marine Science Center

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