Yaquina Bay, Newport, Oregon
Crab is king in the Newport fishing industry today, but crabs took a back seat in the early days of fishing on Yaquina Bay. Even though the Dungeness were so plentiful that the limit was 50 bags a day, they were considered a secondary fishery, and were even a minor part of the native Yacana diet, behind clams and fish. The pecking order of most-prized in Newport’s fishing history begins with oysters (1860s), then salmon (1890s), and, briefly, halibut (1910s). Even lobsters were tried—in 1910 more than 2,000 East Coast lobsters were planted in the bay, never to be seen again. It’s been the crab fishery that has remained the most reliable over the last 150 years.