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Clamming News and Seals / Sea Lions on Oregon Coast

Published 05/05/2018 at 5:25 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection Staff

Clamming News and Seals / Sea Lions on Oregon Coast

(Oregon Coast) – There’s good news for nature lovers on the Oregon coast, if you love clamming or watching the wildlife. State officials have reopened razor clamming in one section where it had been previously closed, and they’re touting the watching of seals and sea lions – but with a word of caution.

Razor clamming has opened back up on one part of the southern Oregon coast, according to the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW). You can once again dig for the delicious critters from the south jetty of the Umpqua River, at Winchester Bay to Cape Arago, south of Coos Bay as domoic acid levels have dropped below the alert level.

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The opening means razor clamming is now open from the Columbia River to Cascade head and open from the south jetty of the Umpqua River to Cape Arago.

The harvesting of razor clams remains closed from Cascade Head to the north jetty of the Umpqua River and closed from Cape Arago to the California border. This includes all beaches and all bays.

ODA will continue to test for shellfish toxins every other week, as tides permit. Reopening of an area requires two consecutive tests that come back in the safe range.

For more information call ODA’s shellfish safety information hotline at (800) 448-2474 or visit the ODA shellfish closures web page found here.

ODFW said this is a good time of year to spot marine mammals along all parts of the Oregon coast – but you should also stay clear of them.

They’re often seen in bays lounging on piers, tideflats, or sandbars, and these animals can be entertaining to watch. Good locations for viewing include the South Jetty of the Columbia River, sandbars in Netarts Bay, near the mouth of the Siletz River, Yaquina Bay between the jetties and along the bay front, sandbars and beaches near the mouth of Alsea Bay, Cape Argo, Rouge Reef, and Simpson Reef.

“Remember to stay away from seals and sea lions as they can become aggressive and are protected by the Marine Mammal Act,” the agency said in a press release.

On the rarer side, sightings of Elephant seals can be had at Simpson Reef on Shell Island at Cape Arago State Park on the southern Oregon coast.

Right now is the beginning of pupping season, which is cause for warning. ODFW said it’s normal for seal pups to be left alone for long periods of time while the mother is out hunting and they often will not move when approached.

If they are in a high traffic area, the agency asks that you call your local State Park so signs can be placed around the animal to tell others to stay away. If you think a marine mammal is in trouble, please call the Marine Mammal Stranding Network at 800-452-7888. Where to stay in these areas - Where to eat - Maps and Virtual Tours

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Seals and clamming photos below courtesy Seaside Aquarium






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