Crab harvesting now open off Oregon Coast

State officials allow crabbing off Southern Coast for recreational users.

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State officials have opened crabbing off of the Southern Oregon Coast for recreational users.

Commercial users are still prohibited.

The open area runs from Heceta Head, north of Florence, to the California border. Crabs harvested in bays and estuaries and off docks, piers, in jetties and the ocean are now OK, according to the state departments of agriculture and fish and wildlife. The temporary ban was due to high levels of a toxin found in shellfish along the West Coast. State scientists are continuing to monitor toxin levels in shellfish along the coast.

Unusually warm waters along the Pacific Northwest coast caused crabs to join 36 marine mammals and three seabirds testing positive for domoic acid this year.

Domoic acid, also called Amnesic Shellfish toxin, can cause dizziness, headaches, vomiting and diarrhea on the mild end. Severe poisoning can result in memory loss and death. Toxins cannot be removed by cooking, freezing or any other preparation.


The Agriculture Department announced it will continue to monitor the situation.

Razor clam harvesting remains closed from Tillamook Head south to California.

Meanwhile, the agencies say mussel harvesting has reopened from the Yachats River on the central coast to California. The entire Oregon Coast is now open to mussel harvesting.

(READ MORE: Statesman Journal)

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