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S. Oregon Coast Gets Another Pause on Recreational Crabbing - from Charleston to Gold Beach

Published 01/20/23 at 6:10 PM
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

S. Oregon Coast Gets Another Pause on Recreational Crabbing - from Charleston to Gold Beach

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(Bandon, Oregon) – Not long after recreational crabbing has returned to the entire Oregon coast, a sizable portion of the south coast gets shut down. While commercial crabbing remains open, crabbing in bays and the ocean by private citizens is not allowed between just north of Charleston to just north of Gold Beach. (Photo Oregon Coast Beach Connection)

Once again, it's all due to the biotoxin domoic acid, which can make people very sick if consumed in shellfish and can even result in death.

Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) issued the change Friday after tests for the biotoxin found levels above the limit for safety.

The closure's exact boundaries are four miles north of Charleston (43° 25’) to one half mile north of Gold Beach (42° 26’), about 70 miles of southern Oregon coast. They include the Coos Bay and Coquille Rivers, along with towns Charleston, Bandon, Langlois, Nesika and Port Orford.

Once an area is closed for biotoxins, it takes two consecutive tests in the clear before it can be reopened. Sampling crab is dependent on weather and tidal conditions, which can prevent testing.

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

Recreational bay clams and harvesting of mussels remains open along the entire Oregon coast. However, those biotoxins are still affecting razor clamming, which remains closed throughout the region.

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.

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Andre' GW Hagestedt is editor, owner and primary photographer / videographer of Oregon Coast Beach Connection, an online publication that sees over 1 million pageviews per month. He is also author of several books about the coast.

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