The Port of Port Orford is the heart of our town, home to our commercial fishing fleet, as well as sports boats, a fish processing plant, wholesale fish buyers, a charter company offering fishing and diving charters, a small restaurant and gift shop, and the offices of the port.
You'll find spectacular ocean views and storm watching as waves crash against the jetty. Plus a great opportunity to see our hard-working commercial fishermen up close, as well as a chance to do some fishing of your own.
Unique dolly dock
The port is also unique, one of only two "dolly docks" in the U.S. (the other one is in Los Angeles) - and only six in the world - where gigantic hoists lift the vessels in and out of the water each day. The harbor area is too shallow for safe mooring, and when not on the ocean, the boats are parked in rows on the dock, cradled in custom-made trailers that are easily pulled around by pickup trucks.
There is also a seasonal Summer/Fall floating dock for sports boats. When in use, there is stairway access from the main dock down to the floating dock platform. These are on hinges and lifted up and secured during the Winter/Spring storm seasons.
Late afternoon visits on good weather days are the best time to see the port in action. This is a time when many vessels return to unload their catch (cabizon, Dungeness crab, black cod, ling cod, rock fish, salmon, sea urchin are just some of the seasonal-regulated catches you might see being harvested).
Each of the fish buyers has their own small hoist and you can watch as they unload the boats using plastic or metal bins, and in the case of urchins - rope mesh baskets. It’s impressive how quickly the live catch is weighed and moved into seawater holding tanks. The already cleaned fish are iced down immediately to preserve their quality.
You might also see divers, who find easy access to our nearby coves, bringing in a catch of urchins or watch dock personnel and sport fishermen fillet their catch on special filet tables.
There are several areas on the dock where you can do some angling. You may fish, at your own risk, on the jetty, on the lower Sport Dock, or over the side of the dock when there is light activity by the commercial fishermen. You might catch smelt, sardine, herring, bottom fish, snappers, lingcod, halibut, and perch, to name a few. You must posses valid fishing licenses and or permits and must comply with port staff and management regarding safety regulations at all times. Visit their website for more information.
Read about Port Orford's new scuba fill station.