FAQ: How To Catch Mussels Seaside Oregon?

Where can you harvest mussels on the Oregon coast?

Where to go: Mussels can be found anywhere that exposed tidal rocks are accessible, but some designated marine garden areas are off-limits to mussel harvest: Otter Rock, Cape Kiwanda, Yaquina Head and Yachats.

How do you pick mussels from the beach?

Bring gloves and a large bucket with a lid. When looking for mussels, go to areas of the beach where there is a rocky bottom. Pick mussels that are as big as your thumb. Let the smaller guys grow.

Do you need a license to harvest mussels in Oregon?

An ODFW license is required to recreationally harvest molluscan shellfish for those 12 years or older. Check for information about ODFW licenses online.

Can you eat mussels from the rocks?

It depends on what you mean by ‘safe’. If you want a firm guarantee that the mussels that you have just plucked from the rock are free from toxins, viruses, bacteria, parasites, unwanted chemicals and everything else then you won’t get one.

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Where can I harvest mussels in Tillamook Oregon?

Mussel harvesting is closed from Tillamook Head in Clatsop County to the north jetty of the Yaquina River in Newport on the central Oregon Coast. All other recreational shellfish harvesting is open from the Columbia River to the California border.

Can you eat mussels picked from the beach?

Most people can easily recognise mussels, but not many harvest and eat them from the wild. This is largely due to fears over pollution and poisoning. Ensure that the area you pick from is open to the tides and free of any obvious sources of pollution (eg. sewage outfall pipes).

What months Can you pick mussels?

When are mussels in season? Peak season for fresh mussels is October to March. You can buy mussels in their shells year round.

Do I need to purge mussels?

Live mussels must be bought very fresh. If the mussels are to be cooked directly in the sauce, they should be purged. Fortunately, most mussels we buy these days do not need this purging. If you collect them from the water, they will need to be purged.

Can you collect mussels?

The recreational season for California sea mussel (opens in new tab) (Mytilus californianus) and bay mussel (Mytilus trossulus) remains open year-round. Currently, mussels should only be collected for non-consumptive uses (for example, fish bait).

How much is an Oregon shellfish license?

Oregon Fishing

Description Resident Nonresident
Annual Shellfish $10.00 $28.00
Endorsements and Validations
Two-Rod Validation $24.50
Columbia River Basin Endorsement (When purchased at same time as angling license ) $9.75
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How do you clean mussels?

Place the mussels in a colander in the sink and run water over them, using your hands or a clean scrubbing brush to rub off any debris like seaweed, sand, barnacles, or mud spots that could be on the shell. If you find any mussels with open shells, lightly tap that mussel against the side of the sink.

How do you pick good mussels?

Good mussels should look wet and smell like the ocean, salty and clean. (If they smell a little funky, or many of them appear to be open already, then you’re going to want to take a hard pass.) When you get them home, you can leave them in the fridge for up to 48 hours before cooking them.

Is it safe to harvest mussels?

All commercial shellfish harvesters in California must be certified by the State and are subject to strict testing requirements. The safest guideline to follow is: Do not eat mussels from California coastal waters collected by sports harvesters from May 1 through October 31.

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