Redfish Rocks Marine Reserve


Redfish rocks

Sunset at Redfish Rocks from Retz Creek during a 2013 CoastWatch Survey. Photo credit: Kelly Timchak.


Just the Facts

Location: The Redfish Rocks Marine Reserve is located just south of the town of Port Orford on the southern Oregon coast. The Marine Reserve covers 2.6 square miles and the complimentary Marine Protected Area includes another 5.1 square miles.

Access point: Retz Creek wayside (north of Humbug State Park and south of Hubbard's Creek wayside)


Redfish Rocks Marine Reserve Site Management Plan (will be reviewed in 2017)

Regulations - Harvest restrictions are in effect and have been since January 2012

Redfish Rocks Brochure (ODFW)

Redfish Rocks Map (ODFW)

Ecological Monitoring (ODFW)

Ecological Monitoring Plan (2012)

Ecological Monitoring Report (2014)

Human Dimensions (ODFW)

Human Dimensions Plan (2012)

Human Dimensions Report (2014)

Marine Reserve Boundaries

Habitat and Wildlife

The small site contains a variety of prime habitat for marine life including a combination of rocky reef and sandy sea-floor habitat. Four dramatic rock formations rise above the surface of the ocean providing nesting areas for seabirds and a haul out site for marine mammals. It is home to a variety of nearshore groundfish species, including black, blue, copper and china rockfish. The area also provides habitat for a host of other sea life, including lingcod, wolf eel, greenling, and many invertebrates such as urchins and crabs.


wolf eel
Wolf eel.

The site and nearshore waters surrounding the Port Orford area are highly productive because strong persistent winds south of Cape Blanco create upwelling, which contributes to nutrient rich waters. The rocky reefs include rocks and islands, rocky and sandy intertidal areas, kelp beds, hard bottom reefs, and soft bottom, all of which contribute to high species diversity and abundant fish, invertebrates, and algae. Gray whales feed and Stellar sea lions pup and haulout in the area.

Cool Stuff

Check out "Clam Shell Correlations," a Pacific High School effort in which citizen science students monitor clam shell abundance.

clam shell study

A super cool video that shows 15 different species in the Redfish Rocks Marine Reserve/Protected Area!

Invertebrates comprise 95% of the animals found in the ocean, and are critical to the functioning and ecology of Oregon's rocky reefs and intertidal areas. Take a trip underwater to find 19 of the most common spineless critters at Redfish Rocks.


Community Team Corner

The purpose of the Redfish Rocks Community Team is to collaborate and develop recommendations for Redfish Rocks, considering biological and socioeconomic information and to serve as liaisons to the community on matters regarding Redfish Rocks. 

Redfish Rocks Community Team Facebook Page and website.

Enjoy learning about the Port Orford community conservation efforts, history and natural beauty in and adjacent to the Redfish Rocks Marine Reserve via the Wild Rivers Coast Scenic Bikeway!

The Oregon Marine Reserves Partnership is a fiscally sponsored project of The Ocean Foundation, a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization.