Nestucca Bay, Pacific City

Nestucca Bay is an estuary in northern Oregon, about 1 mile (1.6 km) south of Cape Kiwanda, named for the Nestugga coastal tribe. The Nestucca Spit separates the estuary from the ocean and is an important barrier beach that breaks the impact of destructive ocean waves before they can reach the estuary and mainland. Pacific City is the principal community of the area and is located at the north end of the spit. Nestucca Bay was historically a rich fishing area and beginning in 1854 settlers began arriving from the Tillamook Valley. By 1876, the 200 remaining Nestugga people were relocated to a reservation on the Salmon and Siletz River. By 1926, commercial gillnetting had depleted the bay of salmon, so fishermen switched to surf-launched dories, but over time this fishery also dwindled and today only a few recreational fishermen keep the tradition alive. The head of the bay is surrounded by the Nestucca National Wildlife Refuge and most of the spit is protected from development by the Bob Straub State Park. Read more about barrier beaches here and about Pacific City here. Click here to download the CoastView app and explore more of Nestucca Bay and the Oregon coast.