If you’re crabbing on the Oregon coast, there is a good chance that you’ll catch a Dungeness or red rock crab, two of the most commonly caught crab species. In 2016, the Dungeness crab was the highest valued fishery in Oregon’s commercial fishing industry at $51.3 million. Red rock crabs are also commercially harvested but are not nearly as much in comparison to the Dungeness.
Dungeness and red rock crabs vary in their appearance, habitats, and behavior. Dungeness crabs are best identified by looking for their large, white-
tippedclaws, ten carapace (the hard upper shell) spines, and a red-brown to purple coloration; they can grow to be 8 inches across their backs. Red rock crabs have black-tipped claws, a wide “fan”-shaped carapace, and are usually a dark red color and a little smaller than Dungeness crabs, usually measuring in at six inches across the carapace.
Additionally, Dungeness crabs prefer the sandy and muddy area of shallow lower estuaries but can be found in ocean depths of up to 2,000 feet. Red rock crabs tend to live in rockier habitats with higher salinities, so they will likely be found in larger estuaries.
Next time you are out crabbing, keep an eye out for these two common crabs and make sure to follow harvesting regulations!
Anyone visiting the South Oregon Coast should try to pay a visit to the gem of Charleston. Both an aquarium and museum, the Charleston Marine Life Center exhibits some the most fascinating creatures of the Oregon coast, from the rocky shores to the deep underwater volcanos.Something that makes the center special is its ability to appeal to and accommodate a wide range of ages. They have a wide range of exhibits including touch tanks, fossils, and live animals. While younger children may enjoy the touching creatures and listening to whale sounds, adults can marvel at fact sheets and fossils from a variety of marine mammals, including a sperm whale skull and preserved giant squid. The center also has many helpful and informative volunteers, whohave gone through trainings to find the best ways to communicate information to their audience. It is set right on the water, so visitors can look out the windows and watch boats pass through the marina or observe seafood being sorted into crates at Pacific Seafood.
One of the best features of the marine life center is its connection to the OIMB research facility, located right across the street. They are able to work with scientists and students first hand to collaborate for programs. This keeps the information, exhibits and programing happening in the center current and relevant.
Display of various crabs in the center
After learning about the marine mammals and playing in the touch tank, visitors can drive to the local state parks in the area to see sea lions, sea stars and anemones in the wild. It can be difficult to find a place that balances education, discovery and fun, and the Charleston Marine Life Center is a perfect example of just that.
Art influences, inspires, educates and mobilizes the community it thrives in.
For the small coastal town of Bandon, Ore., art has brought the locals and tourists together. Galleries in old town Bandon showcase and sell thousands of works made by local artists and local artists’ works are being seen, talked about and sold all over the world. The art movement has brought attention to an underrated type of economic stimulus. Art is attracting people to small towns like Bandon and there are many great examples to showcase.
Local motel co-owner of La Kris Inn, Susan Dimock is a professional photographer who has influenced nature photography in the area. Known for her stunning shots from Face Rock Beach, she and her husband, who is also a photographer, have prints being sold in a number of places including neighboring towns such as Coos Bay.
As she produces her art and sells them she is also expanding her business due to a niche in the market that needed to be filled, guided photography sessions with a local photographer, a great example of sustainable tourism.
“People see me as a good resource to guide them and teach them on the local beaches,” said Dimock. “I don’t put all my eggs in one basket, I kind of diversify. I sell down at the galleries and off my website and then most recently I’ve been doing some private lessons on the beaches. People have been calling me, that’s where social media comes in handy, and they pay a good fee.”
Another great example of how art has brought in many tourists is actually one of Dimock’s clients. Dimock is contracted to make a calendar for the legendary artist, Denny Dyke. Dyke is a sand artist, Circles in the Sand, that organizes and creates
labyrinths during the low-tides of the beach since 2011.
Fast forward to today, Dyke has transformed his art into a community event, and for the last five years has been raking circles in the sand as a full time public venture. With dozens of labyrinths drawn during the summer season, over 20,000 people have walked the paths of the labyrinth, attracting locals and tourists alike from all over the world.
A non-profit art gallery located in the heart of Bandon is a prime example of how art can be used to promote sustainability but is also an attraction for tourists to see while visiting the area. Washed Ashore creates exhibits and art pieces from plastics that wash ashore Oregon beaches. They encourage people to reduce their plastic wastes by showing them through art how much plastics are in our oceans. They also educate the harmful effects it has on marine life and the ecosystem as a whole.
Art is a tool, a passion, a form of communication. It is an outlet to express what is going on in the world and a way for individuals to share their imagination with others. Art brings the community together in many ways, indirect or direct.
Associate Professor - Tourism and Business Development
College of Business
Oregon State University Extension - Oregon Sea Grant
Office: Bandon, Oregon