Nehalem Bay will turn into alphabet soup for the 13th Crab Derby June 3 and 4.
By Jordan Wolfe
“We tag 26 crabs with the letters of the alphabet,” Shirley Laviolette, owner of the Jetty Fishery, on Nehalem Bay in Rockaway Beach, said.
The crabs, A through Z, are marked for participants in the derby to catch and return to determine their order for $2,000 worth of cash prizes, along with other prizes raffled off, including a Jetty Fishery boat and motor, according to Laviolette.
“We’ll release the crabs into Nehalem Bay at 9 a.m. on June 3 and you can crab any way you want but you have to have bought at least one ticket to redeem one crab,” she said. “You can crab off our dock, from our boats, your boat – people have even found them from the shore.”
Laviolette added one year a commercial vessel found one of the alphabet crabs in the ocean.
Tickets need to be purchased to redeem any caught alphabet crabs for prizes. If someone catches two of the crabs but have only purchased one ticket, they can only win one prize. Tickets are $10 apiece and may be purchased ahead of time at the Jetty Fishery. All proceeds benefit the Rockaway Beach Lions Club.
“As soon as you catch a crab, bring it in to the Jetty Fishery,” Laviolette said, adding the event will have a large chalkboard marking off who has captured which letter of the alphabet and where they are in line to earn a prize.
Laviolette said while the derby mostly takes place on June 3, the next day is reserved for auctioning off unclaimed items.
The Crab Derby begins in Nehalem Bay June 3 at 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and noon to 5 p.m. on June 4. Tickets are available at the Jetty Fishery on the mouth of the Nehalem Bay at 27550 Hwy 101 North in Rockaway Beach. For more information, call the Jetty Fishery at 503-368-5746.