Early summer can leave us feeling clammy and crabby in the best way — the freshly harvested shellfish way. The folks in Lincoln City get that. And that’s why they offer free clamming and crabbing clinics all summer long.
Each clinic begins with a brief overview of Oregon’s clam digging or crabbing regulations, identification and harvest methods, and cleaning and cooking details. Each participant 12 and older should purchase equipment prior to attending the clinic. Both clammers and crabbers must purchase a shellfish license (available at local shops such as Bi-Mart, Eleanor’s Undertow or Scout Northwest Trading Company).
Clammers will also need a shovel, pair of gloves and a 5-gallon bucket or clam bag (which may be purchased at any of the above shops as well as Mills Ace Hardware and Premier RV Resort gift shop). Clammers should be on the lookout for purple varnish clams and soft-shell clams, which are easy to prepare and delicious in chowder, pasta or steamed and dipped in butter.
Each crabber must bring their shellfish license, a few folding crab traps (not rings or pots, which don’t work well from shore), a crab measuring tool (crabs smaller than 5 and ¾ inches across the shell, as well as all females, must be released as part of Oregon’s commitment to sustainable fisheries), a 5-gallon bucket, a package of chicken legs for bait (Really!) and a pair of gloves. Each crabber 12 and older may try their hand at a crab snare, fishing pole or folding crab trap, or all three. Prior to attending the clinic, bring your supplies
Yet another way to explore the shore in Lincoln City is through a free tidepool clinic, April through July 2019. Free and open to the public, these two-hour excursions can offer a glimpse of starfish, sea anemones, sea urchins and mussels. The program celebrates 20 years in 2019.
If you go:
Find more clamming and crabbing tips, videos and resources for the entire Oregon Coast at Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife. Whenever you’re on the Coast, always keep your eyes on the ocean and be aware of sneaker waves; be respectful of all wildlife and check tide tables before you go. Be aware of biotoxin closures when shellfish are unsafe to eat. You can also fish for your dinner any time of year — look for spring chinook March through June, chinook and summer steelhead July through December, coho salmon September through December, and winter steelhead December through March.