Dungeness crab have been commercially harvested on the West Coast for more than 150 years and today this fishery is considered the most valuable single species commercial fishery in Oregon with an average value of 32.5 million dollars. The ocean crab season along the Oregon coast typically begins on December 1st and continues through August, although the majority of the harvest occurs during the first eight weeks of the season.

During the peak of the Dungeness crab harvest fresh crab is readily available at supermarket seafood counters and specialty seafood markets up and down the coast. Click here to find fresh crab near you! You can also try your hand at harvesting Dungeness crab year round on the Oregon Coast. Crabbing requires minimal gear that is often available for rent in coastal towns and can be done from a boat or dockside. Try it today!

Don’t forget to stop by the South Coast’s annual celebration of this treasured resource next month at the 33rd Annual Charleston Crab Feed!

Western hemlock

Western hemlock thrives in humid areas of the Pacific coast. It is commonly found in temperate rain forests, usually within 100 miles of the coast. This large conifer can grow up to 200 feet tall and 9 feet in diameter. It is also long-lived, with the oldest known hemlock coming in at 1200 years!

In addition to being well known for its gorgeous wood, hemlock is used for a variety of other purposes. Western hemlock tolerates shade and grows abundantly underneath mature trees, where it provides an important source of food for deer and elk. Older trees are prone to rot, which makes them excellent sources of cavities for birds. Native Americans on the Pacific coast carved hemlock wood into spoons, combs, roasting spits, and other implements. Hemlock bark is rich in a substance useful for tanning hides. Hemlock is also a source of different kinds of food. In addition to offering edible candium (the spongy cork interior of the bark), a hemlock forest is the preferred place for chanterelles and other edible fungi to grow. The needles can also be chewed or made into tea.