The Bountiful Bay

The Bountiful Bay

When one is on the Central Oregon Coast all the natural beauty makes it easy to see why people love this stretch of coast. Visitors passing through may not have the time or not even know that on the main thoroughfare of Highway 101 lies an bay opening up to the Pacific that is not only beautiful but bountiful! This place is the Alsea Bay. While driving over the Alsea Bay Bridge, one may notice boats in the bay and people along the shoreline. Most of the time these people are not just out for a stroll or a pleasure cruise in their boat, they are out search for one of the many inhabitants of the bay.

What Are They Searching For?

Most boats you will see are out looking for the perfect location to drop their pots for Dungeness crab. Fisherman drop their pots, rings or lines with their special blend of crab food, hot dogs are a crab favorite, go figure, into the bay for a while and let them soak. After ample soaking time the pots are brought to the surface and the crab catch is sorted for keepers. The rules for keeping crab catch are: males only that are 5 3/4 inches or larger, measured immediately in front of but not including the points. Each person is only allowed 3 rings, pots or lines while crabbing. Crabbing from the docks and shoreline is an option if you do not have a boat.

During low tide events people line the shore and look for Bay Clams and other types of clam species. Bay clams consist of Gaper, Butter, Littleneck, Cockle and Geoduck. When collecting Bay clams you are allowed a max catch of 20 clams of which an aggregate of only 12 may be of the Gaper or Geoduck species. Another couple of rules regarding the harvesting of calms are you are not allowed to remove the clam from the shell before leaving harvest area and each digger must have their own container and dig their own clams.

Photo: Olan Halbrook via MyODFW.com

Winter Steelhead- One of the most coveted catches due not only to the taste of the fish but the fun involved in catching. Steelhead are know for their penchant to make fast runs and break the surface while on a line. The winter Steelhead run in the Alsea begins in  December, January, February and March, typically peaking in mid January to mid February.

Photo: Oregon State University

Chinook salmon- The largest of the Pacific salmon, Chinook head up the Alsea to return to its spawning ground to release the future generation of fish. Fishing typically begins in August. When the salmon begin congregating in holding areas waiting for the rivers to rise the catch is on! You will see many boats and shore fisherman vying to land a catch.

 

Want to try your hand at crabbing, fishing or calming on your next visit to the Central Oregon Coast? No matter if you are an Oregon resident or from out of state, getting a fishing license is easy and the law. Make sure if you want to catch salmon or Steelhead you have an the Combined Angling Tag in addition to the regular fishing license. Single or multi day tags are available for crabbing and most locations that rent crab gear also sell the license, if you are just here for a few days.

 

 

Want to see the General Recreation Report for fishing and crabbing from the Oregon Department of Wildlife CLICK HERE

Important regulations for the Alsea Bay and surrounding areas is available HERE

We have some homes perfect in the Bayshore area for those looking to fish, crab or calm Check Sweethomesrentals.com or give us a call at 800-519-0437 and we will be more than happy to help.

Exploring Cape Perpetua

Exploring Cape Perpetua

Just a short 5 minute drive south of Yachats, Cape Perpetua Scenic Area offers many experiences for all to enjoy with tide pools, old-growth forests and stunning views. Covering 2,700 coastal acres and with the highest car accessible view point on the coast at 800 feet, Cape Perpetua should be on your list of places to see, when on the Central Oregon Coast.

Your first stop when in Cape Perpetua, should be the Visitor Center, which is open seven days a week most of the year, to get your bearings and learn a little about the area before venturing around. While at the Visitor Center you can view the interpretive programs, short movies and even set up a guided hike, during the summer months.  You can also pick out some souvenirs at the Discover Your Northwest Bookstore located inside the Visitor Center.

Hiking/Walking Trails

26 miles of trails meander through this area where temperate spruce rain-forest meets the sea. Trails to the beach/rocky shoreline, trails into the forest, trails to giant trees, trails to lookouts, there is a little bit of everything at Cape Perpetua. A few of the trails, Captain Cook Trail, Whispering Spruce Trail and the Trail of Restless Waters, are wheelchair accessible but be warned in advance, that they are rated as moderate to most difficult due to the steep grades in some sections. A great mountain biking trail is the Cummins Creep Loop Trail that starts just a little south of Visitor’s Center on HWY 101, off Forest Service Road 1050.

 

 

www.fs.usda.gov

www.fs.usda.gov

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cape Perpetua Points Of Interest

There are many things to see during a trip to Cape Perpetua, we encourage you to find you own special locations within the scenic area, but don’t miss out on these must see areas in Cape Perpetua.

Devil’s Churn- Wave action created this narrow inlet over thousands of years in the basalt shoreline. During big swell events and a high tide the spray from the back of Devil’s Churn can reach hundreds of feet into the air. Please use caution while visiting the churn, as sneaker waves and slippery footing can cause injury.

 

Cape Beach Cove- Just a short walk down some stairs will place you on this small fine sand beach with great views.

 

Thor’s Well- Carved into the basalt coast line below Hwy 101, this sinkhole seems to endlessly fill and drain back into the Pacific. High tide or during a large storm is the optimal time to see this natural phenomenon but on low tide and small swell days you can peer deep into the abyss and see the hydraulic mechanism at work. *Please take caution if you venture down to the edge of Thor’s Well, sneaker waves do happen and can knock you off your feet and cause injury.

 

 

Spouting Horn- Located a few hundred feet south of Thor’s Well on the other side of Cook’s Chasm. Best viewed on high tides during winter storms this crack in the rock puts on a show by shooting water high into the air. Both Spouting Horn and Thor’s Well can be view from the HWY 101 turnout or along the wheel chair accessible observation point on Captain Cook’s Trail.

 

Cape Perpetua Overlook- This is the highest viewpoint (800 feet) on the Oregon Coast accessible via car. Once at the top parking lot you can step out and see views stretching up to 70 miles south and up to 37 miles out to sea on a clear day. Just a short five minutes along the walking loop will lead you to a stone structure created in the 1930’s as a place to enjoy the views during less than ideal weather.

 

Giant Spruce Tree- At over 500 years old, 185 feet tall and 40 feet in circumference, this Sitka spruce tree is located on an easy 2 mile round trip walk from the Cape Perpetua Visitor Center,   along the Giant Spruce Trail.

 

 

 

For more information on the Cape Perpetua Scenic Area, click here: Cape Perpetua

For more information on our Sweet Homes near Cape Perpetua, click here: Sweet Homes