The Dungeness crab is an important species on the West Coast, where it thrives in chilly Pacific Ocean waters. This species is a major driver for the fishing economies in California, Oregon, and Washington.
These crustaceans have eight walking legs and two claws and prefer sandy bottom habitats in the intertidal zones to a depth of approximately 750 feet.
Dungeness crab have been harvested commercially on the West Coast since the mid-1800s when San Francisco fishermen began the fishery. For more than 100 years, the fishery has been regulated by size, sex, and season in order to preserve this important resource.
The commercial Dungeness crab season typically begins in early December and continues through the spring. Recreational crabbing is a popular, year-round activity on the Oregon Coast.
Just make sure you’re aware of the regulations next time you head to the beach or the docks. Knowing how to play will help ensure this animal continues to provide a delicious food source and an important economic opportunity for coastal communities in the region.
Many coastal bait and tackle shops along the coast will help you get set up for an enjoying crabbing experience!
Adaptability is a valuable skill to have in this day and age. The Pacific wax myrtle is an expert in adaptability and could teach those of us who want to improve in this area a few important tips.
This evergreen shrub is native to the coasts of California, Oregon, and Washington, growing quickly up to 30 feet tall and 10-12 feet wide. Pacific wax myrtles flourishes along both streams and sand dunes in this region.
This tree is often used for habitat restoration thanks to their ability to adapt to a variety of environments. They thrive in wet soil, but are also drought tolerant and will grow in sandy, loamy, or clay soil.
The Pacific wax myrtle also transfers nitrogen and other nutrients to plants in its vicinity.
The lance-shaped leaves of the Pacific wax myrtle are a bright, glossy green with black dots. They have a fragrant, spicy smell.
The small yellow flowers create purple berries that ripen during autumn. The berries fall to the ground in early winter, attracting birds such as flickers, finches, and robins.
The fruit carries one seed per berry. Berries are coated with white wax that can be extracted and made into scented candles and soap.
Next time you find yourself in a challenging situation, think about the Pacific wax myrtle and its unique ability to thrive in a wide range of environments.
It may provide just the inspiration you need to succeed in the task you want to accomplish.
Shore pine and lodgepole pine are two different varieties of the species (Pinus contorta). In the Northwest, the coastal lowland form is called shore pine. Inland, mountain forms of this species are called lodgepole pine.
Shore pine is found between Alaska and Northern California and typically colonizes infertile sites near sea level where other trees grow poorly, if at all. When grown in tough, windy locations, shore pine can be twisted and irregularly shaped (hence the name ‘contorta’).
Although shore pine can live to be 250 years old, they are typically grow to between 20 and 35 feet in height due to the harsh conditions where they live.
Native people used shore pine pitch medicinally and apply to open sores. Various pine species are used to treat arthritis, muscle pains, sores, wounds, and pains.
Today, the lumber is sometimes used for furniture or cabinets, sometimes as paneling or other finished products. Its inland sibling, the lodgepole pine, grows straight and tall, and was used by natives for the central pole in tepees.
Nationwide, pines are second only to oaks in the food value to wildlife. They have nutritious, oily seeds that are favored by many birds and small mammals. Foliage is eaten by grouse, and deer; porcupines and small rodents eat the bark and wood.
Associate Professor - Tourism and Business Development
College of Forest Ecosystems & Society
Oregon State University Extension - Oregon Sea Grant
Equal Opportunity/Accessibility https://extension.oregonstate.edu/equal-opportunity-accessibility