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Southern Oregon coast crabbing restrictions lifted

May 24, 2018

The Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) and ODFW announce the re-opening of recreational crabbing from Cape Blanco to the California border.

Crab samples taken from the Brookings area indicate levels of the marine biotoxin domoic acid have fallen below the closure limit for two consecutive rounds of tests. The lifting of restrictions means that crabbing is open along the entire Oregon coast.

Commercial crabbing restrictions have also been lifted from Cape Blanco to the California border.

It is always recommended that crab be eviscerated and the guts, or butter, discarded prior to cooking. When whole crab are cooked in liquid, domoic acid may leach into the cooking liquid. It is recommended to discard the cooking liquid, and do not use it in other dishes, such as sauces, broths, soups, roux, etc. The consumption of crab viscera is also not recommended.

Razor clamming remains open from the Columbia River to Cape Blanco. Recreational razor clamming is currently closed from Cape Blanco to the California border for elevated levels of domoic acid toxin. Recreational mussel and bay clamming is open along the entire Oregon Coast.

Domoic acid or amnesic shellfish toxin can cause minor to severe illness and even death. Severe poisoning can result in dizziness, headaches, vomiting and diarrhea. More severe cases can result in memory loss and death. Shellfish toxins are produced by microscopic algae and originate in the ocean. Toxins cannot be removed by cooking, freezing or any other treatment. ODA will continue to test for toxins in the coming weeks. Re-opening requires two consecutive tests below the limit.

For up-to-date recreational shellfish and crabbing information, always call ODA’s shellfish safety information hotline before crabbing or clamming at (800) 448-2474 or visit the ODA shellfish closures web page at



Judy Dowell, ODA, (503) 871-2118
Alex Manderson, ODA, (503) 842-2607

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