The program, now in its third summer in partnership with the Port of Newport, is an opportunity for coastal visitors and residents to learn what seafood is in season on the Oregon coast, meet the people who catch the fish and learn how to tell when the seafood they buy is of high quality. Oregon Sea Grant staff lead the tours, describe the fisheries and help those who want to navigate the process.
Tours leave from the boardwalk by Port Dock 5 on the Newport Bayfront, across from Local Ocean Seafoods, and run about 90 minutes. Dates are July 15, 22 and 29, and Aug. 5, 12 and 19, with tours departing at 9:30 a.m., 10 a.m., 10:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. each day. The tours are free and on a first-come, first-served basis.
Those who plan to buy should bring cash and a cooler with ice. Comfortable shoes with good traction are a must, as the tours cover some distance on working commercial fishing docks.
Newport-based Kaety Jacobson, a Sea Grant fisheries specialist with the Oregon State University Extension Service, compares the tours to “going down to the docks with a friend who knows the seafood – and knows the fishermen.”
Jacobson, who runs the program, recommends that tour-goers arrive early to find parking. Parking is also available at the Maritime Museum, across the street and up the hill from the docks, with purchase of admission. The museum opens at 11 a.m., but Shop the Dock staff can assist with admission purchases before then.
Visitors driving to Newport from the Willamette Valley should also be aware that summer-long highway construction on U.S. Highway 20 may cause travel delays. For daily updates on delays and closures, visit the Oregon Department of Transportation website.