As of May 20, all of the Oregon Coast is open for crabbing to both residents and visitors, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has announced. Every bay and estuary, every beach, dock, jetty, and pier are now crabbing-eligible.
Anyone who wishes to participate will need to buy a crab license from ODFW. The Department urges anyone who wants to harvest crab to put safety first and not go out if they feel ill or have a fever or a cough, avoid crowds, and when coming in, to completely remove and discard the gills and all internal organs from their catch, since these may not be safe to eat.
Another safety precaution the ODFW recommends is that people who plan to go out after crab or clams contact the Oregon Department of Agriculture’s shellfish safety information hotline for any location warnings or closures. Call (800) 448-2474 or visit the ODA shellfish closures web page at: http://ODA.direct/ShellfishClosures.
If crabbers plan to use floating surface buoys, each one must be clearly marked with the owner’s full name or business name and at least one of the following: phone number, permanent address, ODFW Angler ID number, or vessel identification number.
By John M. Burt