Netarts Bay is located about 6 miles west of Tillamook.
To reach the Netarts Bay–Boat Basin (45.430462, -123.946523) from the intersection of Highway 101 and 3rd St./Netarts Highway 131 in Tillamook, travel west on 3rd St./Netarts Highway 131 for 6.3 miles to Netarts Bay Dr. Turn left (south), travel for 0.1 miles to Netarts Boat Basin Dr. turn right into the boat basin parking area. The parking area has picnic tables, a boat launch, and a restroom. This is a Tillamook County day use fee area with a fee kiosk.
Netarts Bay Fish Hatchery (45.394219, -123.935916) also known as Whiskey Creek Fish Hatchery, is located on southern Netarts Bay. To reach the hatchery from the intersection of Netarts Boat Basin Dr. and Netarts Bay Dr., turn right (south) on Netarts Bay Dr./Whiskey Creek Road. Travel for 2.6 miles to the signed hatchery entrance on the right. There is parking and bay access to the west.
To reach Happy Camp Rd. (45.440143, -123.954760) from the intersection of Netarts Boat Basin Dr. and Netarts Bay Dr., turn left (north) on Netarts Bay Dr. Travel for 0.1 mile to Highway 131. Turn left (north), travel for 0.5 miles to Happy Camp Rd. Fork left (west) and travel 0.2 miles to a parking area at the end of the road. This is a Tillamook County day use fee area with a fee kiosk.
Oregon Birding Trail: Choose the Oregon Coast Birding Trail, click on the North Coast tab and go to section 38Directions
Habitat and Birds
Netarts Bay is a large shallow coastal bay. It is unique in that it has no major tributary rivers. There are extensive oyster farms at the south end of the bay. The west edge of the bay has areas with good eel grass beds. At low tide, the bay has extensive mud flats.
The boat basin has views of the bay, jetty rock, and protected water habitats. There is often a roosting gull flock here in winter. Heerman’s Gulls and Brown Pelicans are seen in summer. Black Turnstone is regular on the jetty rocks. Purple Martins use nest boxes in the area.
Bird Netarts Bay from the east bank county roads using turnouts to scan for birds. Brant flocks are usually found on the far west edge of the bay in winter. The flock size peaks in late winter to early spring, just before migration. Large numbers of waterfowl use the bay in winter. Look for Black Scoter, Barrow’s Goldeneye, and Long-tailed Ducks in the flocks. Peregrine Falcons are regular here. Tropical Kingbird has been found along the bay in October and November. Harbor Seals can often be seen loafing on sandy islands in the bay.
The shellfish parking area located on the west side of the intersection of Hamm Rd and Whiskey Creek Rd. is a good viewpoint for the bay. At this point east of the bay along Hamm Rd. there is a small tidal wetland area. Another shellfish parking area is about 0.15 mile south. This parking area has good views of the bay and a restroom.
Netarts Bay Fish Hatchery has good views of Netarts Bay. Here there are extensive oyster farms in the shallow southern end of Netarts Bay. Scope the bay from the west end of the grass area on the hatchery grounds. Birds are the same as above. The Brant at the west side of the bay can sometimes be better viewed from this location. The hatchery residence has hummingbird feeders which are active year-round.
Happy Camp Road is located at the far north end of Netarts Bay near the mouth. The birds are generally the same as above. View the bay entrance from the parking area or beach. Walk the beach westerly at lower tides to open ocean beach habitats.