All of Oregon Coast Closed to Razor Clamming, Some Mussel Shutdowns
Published 05/24/2015 at 5:10 PM PDT
(Oregon Coast) – All of Oregon's 364 miles of coastline were closed to recreational harvesting of razor clams this week, with Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) citing elevated levels of domoic acid. Some areas are closed to grabbing mussels as well because of another toxin. (Photo courtesy Seaside Aquarium).
The entire Oregon coast – including bays and estuaries – is closed to razor clamming. Recreational mussel harvesting has been closed for more than the southern half of the coastline, roughly two-thirds of the state's length, from Cascade Head (which is just north of Lincoln City) all the way down to Gold Beach.
Domoic acid is produced by a certain type of algae that can accumulate in shellfish. When eaten by humans and ocean-dwelling wildlife, this kind of poisoning can cause seizures and even possibly death. Mussels have been prohibited in these areas because of Paralytic Shellfish Toxin.
This closure includes all beaches, jetties, rocks and bays.
The news is a bit better for bay clams, however, although these are not as popular. Harvesting of these is open from Tillamook Head (south of Seaside) to the California border.
“Scallops are not affected by this closure when only the adductor muscle is eaten,” ODFW said. “The consumption of whole recreationally-caught scallops is not recommended. Crabs are not affected by this closure and remain safe to eat, however it is recommended you do not eat the 'butter' (or viscera).”
ODFW said commercial shellfish are perfectly safe at this time.
If you go looking for bay clams, ODFW said right now is an excellent time, due to the larger number of low tide series this time of year. May and June often present the lowest tides of the entire year, creating opportunities not just for bay clams but for gapers, cockles and butter clams. Coos Bay, Newport's Yaquina, Netarts Bay near Oceanside and Tillamook Bay are good spots for these, the agency suggests.
“Recent stock assessments have revealed abundant populations and that current harvest levels are sustainable,” ODFW said.
More on some of these bays below:
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