Nahalem Bay Map

Nahalem Bay Map
  • Historic Wheeler, Oregon (pop. 415) with Antiques, Cafes, Shops and Historic Hotel.
  • Razor Clam in the Morning at Seaside, Drive 30 Minutes and Crab Nehalem Bay.
  • Two Great Marina’s; 1) Kelly’s Brighton Marina and, 2) Jetty Fishery Marina. Rent Everything you Need.
  • Softshell, Purple Varnish, Butter Clams, Crab by Boat, Shore or Dock, Salmon Fishing.

Nehalem Bay

Nehalem Bay is located just north of Tillamook, in Wheeler, Oregon. However, it is best known for it’s great crabbing, and it’s only a short 30 minute drive from Seaside, Oregon, and about 1 3/4 hours from Portland, Oregon. Many times we have clammed in the morning in Seaside then drove to Nehalem Bay and rented a boat to go crabbing, all in the same day! Clamming on the morning low tide, then crabbing on the mid-day high tide.


Kelley's Marina and Boat Rentals
Kelley’s Marina, Rental Boats and Lunch

Nehalem Bay has populations of Softshell, a few Butter, and Purple Varnish Clams. Most locations require a boat to access. For walk on access, I recommend going to the boat ramp at Nehalem Bay State Park. Then walk south from the boat ramp to the clamming beds. The other area is on the east side of the bay from Brighton north as Hwy 101, which runs parallel to the railroad tracks and bay. Some figure out how to walk on here, but parking and getting down to the clam beds is a bit more challenging. The other areas are better reached by boat.


Catching crab in Oregon has always been phenomenal. On top of that, the Oregon Coast is home to the Dungeons Crab that is particularly good eating – very sweet and meaty. You are allowed 12 male crabs, minimum size of 5’’ ¾ (about the size of dollar bill, measured from the inside notch, not point to point). You might also run into some Red Rock crabs, which you can keep 24 of, no matter the sex or size. They are not as good to eat though (a lot of people do) and I throw them back.

Rental Boats at

Jetty Marina and Kelly’s Marina are about 5 minutes apart and both will rent you a boat, crab rings, and bait. There are spots to crab from the banks and a small fee to crab at their docks. Both have little stores for food and snacks but Kelly’s also offers lunch. There you can select your Dungeness Crab from their live crab tanks, and they will cook it right in front of you and serve it to you.

If you’re a crabber I recommend you bring your shovel and rake. Generally, you want to crab through the peak of a slack high tide. After, once the tide goes out, crabbing slows, or stops. Then, it’s just a little wait (we do lunch in Wheeler) for the low tide and clamming in the same spot.


Information provided is a result of personal experience at each bay or beach location. In addition, local residences providing input and advice, and ongoing information from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife websites.Information will change as incoming seas tend to shift and move sand, after that it makes it harder for clams to reproduce.So always check for current beach closures and advisories related to biotoxins, pollution or other human health concerns the same day you plan to harvest. is not responsible for the accuracy of this data and the outcome or results of your personal efforts, or safe consumption of shellfish.

Shellfish Safety Hotline
635 Capitol St NE
Salem, OR 97301
Phone: 800-448-2474
Alt Phone: 503-986-4728