Living Center Oregon

Sustainable Living Center Oregon

Crabbing at Siletz Bay

canoe 4 The Siletz Bay at the south edge of Lincoln City is the best kept crabbing secret on Oregon Coast.   Siletz Bay is a prime spot for crabbing.

Why is this prime crabbing spot kept a secret?

There is no easy access to where the good crabs are … the main channel.  Nearly all the crabbing is done from its banks.  Most people in Lincoln City, who want to go crabbing, have to  go to Newport for their Crabbing Docks or Crab Boat Rentals

There are problems to get to the where the good big crabs in Siletz Bay because:

  • crap_2NO docks for Dock Crabbing.
  • NO Boat Rental at the Siletz Bay.  The Closest Boat Rental is Coyote Rock RV Park, which is 5 miles up the Siletz River.   It takes two (2) hours to get up & down the river to Siletz Bay

Starting Sept 1, 2018 there will be a new option to crab in Siletz Bay.

  1. Rent a Crabbing Catamaran starting Sept 1, 2018
  2. Bank Crabbing Clinic … To be taught 6 times this summer (see schedule below)

A Stable Canoe for the Whole Family

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canoe 3Some folks don’t have the coordination to keep a canoe steady in the water. Some families have small children that can’t paddle for themselves. And still others may be perfectly capable of paddling a normal canoe, but they want to enjoy the crabbing venture with friends.

Our Catamaran are efficient at keeping paddlers of different strengths from separating — don’t worry about leaving weaker paddlers behind in your wake.

Waring … Hypothermia

Hypothermia is a physical condition that occurs when the body’s core temperature falls below a normal 98.6° F (37° C) to 95° F (35° C) or cooler. Think of hypothermia as the opposite of heat stroke. Cold water dangerously accelerates the onset and progression of hypothermia since body heat can be lost 25 times faster in cold water than in cold air. Hypothermia affects the body’s core – the brain, heart, lungs, and other vital organs. Even a mild case of hypothermia diminishes a victim’s physical and mental abilities, thus increasing the risk of accidents. Severe hypothermia may result in unconsciousness and possibly death. About 600 people in the U.S. die of hypothermia each year.

Temperature of the Siletz River and Siletz Bay by Month

Sep Oct Nov Dec
Min °F 53.5 53.3 52.4 50
Max °F 56.5 57.9 56.6 54.4

Time before Hypothermiae

Water Temp  Time
50–60° 1 – 2 hours 1 – 6 hours

The Siletz River and Bay water is cold.  It is important to be in a stable Crab Boat.




Stable to get in or out …. Stable Loading



Rent a Crabbing Catamaran ( Starting Sept 1, 2018)

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two1A Crabbing Catamaran, consist of two Canoes\Kayaks.  It is the best way for a group or family to have the experience of getting the good big Crabs in Siletz Bay.


two cano2In a matter of minutes, our special kit will convert two kayaks or canoes into one catamaran. The structural integrity of this system has been proven on expeditions worldwide.

When crossing rough or open stretches of water, our Catamaran offer incredible stability: the rig is virtually ‘untippable’.

Our Crabbing Catamaran feature opens new horizons and adds new dimensions to the exciting world of crabbing for any family or group.

Crabbing Catamaran have the following advantages:

  • Much more stable than a regular canoecrab map1
  • Total Safe for family with small children or group, cannot be overturned
  • Stable even in rough weather
  • Rental Location is 100 ft from the entrance to the main Crabbing Area
  • Provides a stable platform for handle crab traps, grading crabs and  launching traps
  • Less Cost than Renting a Motor Boat
  • No Motor to mess with
  • People not fond of canoeing now have more of a hybrid option

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Renting a Crabbing Catamaran Package

Crabbing Catamaran Package includes:

  • One Crabbing Catamaran  include paddles,  life jackets for all, invasive species permit, and parking for one vehicle.
  • Three (3) Danielson crab traps, bait box, float, and pull line
  • Crab gauge
  • 5 gallon bucket
  • Package of chicken parts for bait

That is every thing you need, except you must provide:

Each person that plan to crab 12 years or older will need:

  • Shellfish license (available at location listed below)  cost is $7 entitles the holder to 12 male crabs, minimum size 5 ¾ inches
  • Bring a pair of rubber or leather gloves if you want to protect your fingers,


• Bi-Mart — 1030 SE Oar Ave • 541-614-1020


Best Crabbing Times

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We only rent at the times listed since our location is where the Siletz River meets the Pacific Ocean at the Siletz Bay; therefore, the tides directly affect the crabbing.  The following are the best times to go Crabbing.


1 Sat 3:30 PM Moorage
2 Sun 4:30 PM Moorage
3 Mon 5:30 PM Moorage
4 Tue 6:30 PM Moorage
5 Wed 8:30 AM Moorage
6 Thur 9:30 AM Moorage
7 Fri 10:00 AM Moorage
8 Sat 11:00 AM Moorage
9 Sun 11:30 AM Moorage
10 Mon 12:30 PM Moorage
11 Tue 1:00 PM Moorage
12 Wed 1:30 PM Moorage
13 Thur 2:00 PM Moorage
14 Fri 3:00 PM Moorage
15 Sat 4:00 PM Moorage
16 Sun 4:30 PM Moorage
17 Mon 6:00 PM Moorage
18 Tue 7:00 PM Moorage
19 Wed 9:00 AM Moorage
20 Thur 9:30 AM Moorage
21 Fri 10:00 AM Up River
22 Sat 10:30 AM Moorage
23 Sun 11:30 AM Moorage
24 Mon 11:30 AM Moorage
25 Tue 12:30 PM Moorage
26 Wed 1:00 PM Moorage
27 Thur 1:15 PM Moorage
28 Fri 1:30 PM Moorage
29 Sat 2:00 PM Moorage
30 Sun 3:00 PM Moorage

Danielson Crab Traps

Our crab traps are Danielson crab traps.  They come with unrigged with non-weighted doors for easy access for the crabs to enter, but spring loaded, so the crabs cannot get our.  Watch the below video to see it working.

Crab Bait

Many different types of meat are used for crab baits.  We use chicken parts.

Setting your traps and soak time

Remember to set your crab gear outside of navigational channels.  Set crab traps an adequate space apart from each other so that you aren’t competing against your own gear.

Try and allow between 30-45 minutes before retrieving your traps.

daitLocate your float and approach slowly along the side of the boat. Grab crab line just below the float with your hand.

Quickly sort through crab, being careful to not break crab legs or get your fingers pinched.  An experienced crab handler will sort crabs by keeping them at ease. They want to get out, but they don’t want to be forcefully grabbed. A quick shake of the trap is often more effective then reaching directly for them.

Learn the difference between male and female crab.  With a crab gauge measure all male Dungeness crab retained. Only retain the male Dungeness crab that are 5 ¾” inches across the back (NOT including the spines) or wider.  When measuring make sure you measure in a straight line across the back immediately in front of, but NOT including the last points.  Store legal sized “Keeper” crabs in a 5 gallon bucket with water.

If you keep your crabs in bucket with water make sure to change the water frequently to keep the water cool and oxygenated

Releasing “soft shell” crab is strongly recommended. Soft shelled crab are newly molted and are essentially a small crab in a big crabs body.

Oregon Certified Guide

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We /Oregon Certified Guide to assist with the placement of the first three (3) crab traps.

Cooking & Cleaning Crabs

We provide Cooking & Cleaning of Crabs for a fee of $2/crab.  If you want to cook and clean crabs, read the following.


The most widely accepted method of cooking crab is in salt water. Ensure the pot is sufficient in size to allow plenty of space to cook the crab; don’t squeeze them into a small pot or inadequate amount of water. Add salt to the water and bring the pot to a rolling boil on the stove or campfire.

Depending on the size of your crab pot, drop the live crab into the boiling water, one at a time. This is the most humane method to kill your catch (death is instantaneous), and the safest for human consumption (no potential toxins are released into the crab meat). Allow sufficient room for each crab to boil freely. If the pot is overcrowded, the water will cool resulting in cooking conditions that are less than ideal.

Cook the crab for about approximately 10 minutes, starting the elapsed time after the water has returned to a full boil. Overcooking will yield crabmeat that is dry and stringy. Once cooked, the crab shell will turn pink. Remove the cooked crab from the water and let cool before cleaning.


Cleaning the crab is easy, once you have the know-how. Snap off the outer shell; place your fingers under one edge and give it a tug. It takes neither great coordination nor Herculean strength. Remove the gills, and the yellowish organs with your fingers under running water. If you let the water do all of the work, some of the delightful flavor will be lost. Just dig in and do it! A gentle rinse with water is a good idea.

Crab meat is extremely perishable. The crab should be kept alive until it is cooked, cleaned immediately after cooking, and kept on ice until ready for eating. Plan your crab feast typically within 24 hours of your catch. If you would like to eat your crab hot, simply place the cleaned crab into boiling, salted water for a moment or two.

Suggestion: Dungeness crab has a mild, delicate flavor. Although it would enhance practically any seafood recipe, try eating the crab just by itself cold, right out of the shell, or hot, dipped into drawn butter.

Do not want to paddle?

Bank Crabbing Clinic

Everyone is welcome and no registration is required.  Participants should meet at the pavilion located at the end of SW 51st St in the Historic Taft District of Lincoln City for a brief orientation. The orientation will familiarize participants with Oregon’s crabbing regulations, harvest methods, identification, and cleaning and cooking techniques.

Parking is available between Mo’s Restaurant and the pavilion. Flat access to the bay is available at the end of SW 51st St.

Each crabber is allowed to crab with up to 3 devices. Crabs snares used with fishing poles work well but not nearly as well as folding crab traps.


Each crabber 12 years or older will need:

  • Shellfish license (available at location listed below)
  • Crab traps, which you must purchase
  • Crab gauge, which you must purchase
  • 5 gallon bucket, which you must purchase
  • Large package of chicken legs for bait, which you must purchase
  • Bring a Pair of rubber gloves to protect your fingers,

*NOTE: Crab Max folding crab traps with hand lines will be available for purchase on site the day of the clinic. Crab gauges and buckets will also be available for purchase. Payment must be made by cash or check only.


-Wednesday, June 6 @ 12:30pm
-Friday, June 8 @ 2:15pm
-Wednesday, June 20 @ 12:45pm
-Tuesday, July 3 @ 10:30am
-Thursday, August 30 @ 9:15am
-Thursday, September 27 @ 8:15am


• Bi-Mart — 1030 SE Oar Ave • 541-614-1020

When to Crab

In the bay the best time of day is several hours after low tide when the creatures are active and water currents disturb the crab gear least.  Crabbing is a great activity for any group, any time.

Dungeness crabs move between the Siletz Bay and the ocean.  Siletz Bay is open all year to recreational crabbing.

Justin Ainsworth, shellfish biologist for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, said timing your crabbing trip in the fall is more important to success than figuring out which bay to try. Most bays will be primed with crabs in the latter part of the calendar year, with late September through November usually the very best.

Crabs molt during the summer and take a few months to fill out with good-quality meat, so summertime crabs are lower quality. More quality crabs start to become available in late August or September.

Fall is typically the best time of the year to crab.  Beginning in September, crab tend to be more “filled out”, meaning there is a higher percentage of meat.

At times, after heavy rainfall the resulting increase in freshwater, crab tend to be less abundant in the bays.

Slack water (the time around high or low tide) is the best time to crab in the bays.  During slack water, crabs are generally walking around and foraging since they are not getting pushed around by tidal exchange.

On days when there is little difference between high and low tides (small tidal exchange), crabbing can go on almost all day.

To reduce the changes of losing gear due to tidal currents, make sure the crab trap are sufficiently heavy and the length of line used is at least double the depth of water the gear is in.

Using sinking line, rather than floating line will reduce the chances of tangling lines in boat propellers.

Many different types of bait are used: turkey, chicken, clams, fish carcass, shad, herring, etc.  Fresh bait is best.

Keep in mind that seals and sea lions may eat bait they are attracted to and that they can access (e.g. laying out on a crab ring).  You can minimize this problem by using a bait bag or box, using bait that they don’t eat (e.g. turkey legs), avoiding areas where they are prevalent.

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s shellfish program monitors recreational crab harvest in a number of Oregon’s bays.  Current crabbing reports can be found on ODFW’s shellfish webpage:

Wear gloves and be extra cautious when reaching into a crab trap; a pinch from a crab can be very painful.  Handle the crab from the rear with a thumb on the underside or by grasping the rear legs.

Releasing “soft shell” crab is strongly recommended.  Soft shell crab are newly molted.  The volume of meat is low and the quality is usually stringy and less palatable.

Be sure to carefully and quickly release unwanted crab; do not throw them from heights as this will crack their carapace and kill them.  It is illegal to retain only the claws of any species.

The finest crab is caught between November and March, so try to get meat early in the season, if you can. The meat is rich, savory, and so delicious that many people enjoy eating Dungeness crab plain, although there are a variety of tasty preparations for it including salads, sandwiches, crabcakes, and seafood stews like cioppino.

The important thing to remember when cooking this type of crab is that the meat has an excellent and unique flavor which should not be overwhelmed by other ingredients; less really is more. Taste the meat plain before adding seasonings, and use a light hand to dress crab, allowing your guests to actually taste it. Preferably, crab should be cooked live, so clean it after it comes out of the boiler or steamer by splitting it down the middle and removing the center section, along with scraping away the gills on either side.

Crabbing is one of the Oregon Coast’s most enjoyable pastimes. The thrill of pursuing these cagey creatures is justly rewarded with savory table fare. A sport that can be shared with the entire family, crabbing continues to grow in popularity.

What to Wear

Wear comfortable clothing that is appropriate for the day’s weather. Quick drying synthetic fabrics and comfortable footwear that can get wet are best. Having rain gear is always advisable.

We recommend a water bottle and an extra layer for warmth and don’t forget the camera.

Projected 2018 Fall Air Temperture


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Rental Rate for the our Units

$40 for 4 hours – Single kayak 1-person

$60 for 4 hours – Tandem kayak 2-people

$60 for 4 hours – Canoe  3 – 4 people

$120 for 4 hours – Crabing Catamaran 4 – 8 people

 The rentals include boat, paddles,  life jacket, invasive species permit, launch and parking for one vehicle.

 Warning:  During the summer, the area of Siletz River nearest the mouth of the bay often has unpredictable winds and waves at the middle of the day.

Wearin g a personal flotation device (PFD) is mandatory.

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Reservation Office Hours …. 10 am – 9 pm …. Everyday … 541-765-2109 

Launch Site Hours ….. 82 Siletz Hwy

  • Lincoln City, OR   97267
  • 541-541-2109






This entry was posted on May 21, 2018 by .