You'll discover many wonderful worlds in tide pools. This video was taken by Bret Huish, who commented "We found these amazingly colorful star fish at low tide only a few miles from Turtle Rock Resort in Gold Beach Oregon. What a great place!"
These unique environments are full of fascinating plants and animals, so many that an interpretive/identification guide becomes a necessary tool.
When tidepooling, wear the proper attire and use caution. Exposed rocks, especially if they're covered with vegetation, can be very slippery. Look for rocky inter-tidal areas (rocky areas that are alternately exposed and submerged by the tides). Plan your trip by using tide tables which are available at the Gold Beach Visitor Center at 94080 Shirley Lane, or online. Regulations for collecting marine animals may change from time to time. Consult the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Sport Fishing Regulations for the current rules. The best policy is to simply observe and leave things in their place.
Tides of 0.0 feet and lower are better for tidepool viewing; however, when the ocean is calm, many intertidal areas can still be viewed at plus one or two foot tides.
It is best to be in the inter-tidal area at least one hour before low tide.
Stand or sit still and observe a pool for a few minutes. You will soon begin to hear hermit crabs, small fish, shrimp and other life scurrying about.
Gently move seaweed aside to view the myriad of life that lives under, on and among the plants. Please remember to replace the seaweed in its original position.
Look carefully in cracks, crevices and under overhangs. You will see species different from those on surrounding rock formations.
Gently touching most inter-tidal animals and plants will not harm them--and it is intriguing to feel the texture of different species.
Use an aquarium dip net to catch a small fish or crab and view it in a clear plastic container filled with water. Release the animal after a few minutes before the water becomes warm.
Examine seaweed and small animals with a magnifying glass.
Best Local Tidepool Areas:
Myers Creek - Travel 7.1 miles south from the Gold Beach Visitor's Center on Hwy. 101 to Myers Creek beach. This beach stretches south from the base of Cape Sebastian. Park at one of many overlooks and easy access points. The numerous rocks make for good tidepooling.
Whiskey Creek - (Boardman State Park) - Approximately 14 miles south of the Gold Beach Visitor's Center on Hwy. 101. Park in the gravel lot at the Boardman State Park sign. It's a bit of a hike down to the beach but worth it. The rocky beach to the north lends itself to some first-rate tidepool exploration.
Lone Ranch Wayside - (Cape Ferrelo) - Located 4 miles north of Brookings (Approximately 25 miles south of the Gold Beach Visitor's Center), this area has ample parking, rest rooms and easy access to the beach. Large numbers of rocks of various sizes are scattered about the beach. There is an excellent intertidal area out on the cape to the north of the parking area.
Rocky Point - 23.5 miles north of the Rogue River Bridge (turn left on gravel road just past the 305 mile marker). This inter-tidal area consists of a large boulder field surrounded by a gently sloping beach. It has easy access and provides good viewing opportunities.