Oregon Coast Closures Coming: Razor Clamming, Highway 20 Overnight
Published 07/11/2016 at 6:51 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff
(Oregon Coast) – Razor clamming will close this Friday along the last 18 miles of the north Oregon coast, and some highway closures will soon begin on the central Oregon coast east of Newport.
ODFW says this has been a record-setting for razor clamming on the north Oregon coast, at Clatsop beaches (which encompasses Seaside, Gearhart, and Warrenton). The agency reports almost all harvesters snagged their limit of clams every trip on that 18-mile stretch that's north of Tillamook Head.
Clatsop beaches are the most productive razor clam beaches in the state, accounting for more than 90 percent of total harvest. But as every July since the '60s, ODFW shuts down those beaches to razor clamming to allow young clams establish themselves on the beach during the summer.
“We want to ensure that the Clatsop beaches continue to be productive for razor clam harvesters,” said Matt Hunter, ODFW’s Shellfish and Phytoplankton Project leader. “By not disturbing the young razor clams it increases the chance of good recruitment.”
During these closures, the agency assesses the stock to determine the health of the population.
Meanwhile, digging for razor clams is open on almost all other beaches on the Oregon coast. The agency said Newport has some of the best stock, mostly in Yaquina Bay, but often in Agate Beach, the north jetty and South Creek. Other areas good for razor clamming include Cannon Beach, Bob Creek (near Yachats and the village of Cape Meares (next to the headland of the same name).
However, currently closed to razor clamming are beaches south of the Siuslaw North Jetty at Florence, due to elevated levels of the biotoxin, domoic acid. For the latest shellfish safety information call the shellfish safety hotline before harvesting: 1-800-448-2474.
Part of Highway 20 between Corvallis and Newport will be closed during the overnight hours on weekdays, but those closures have been slightly delayed, starting August 1 instead of July 17.
Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) said the U.S. 20 Pioneer Mountain-Eddyville Project will require 24-hour road work starting on July 17, with complete closures for a ten-hour period going from August 1 through October 31. Those closures happen Sunday through Thursday, starting at 7:30 p.m. and going until 5:30 a.m.
This leaves the weekend overnight hours clear, but on closure nights you'll have to either take Highway 34 from Waldport to Corvallis or Highway 18 and 22 between Salem and Lincoln City.
The construction, currently taking place around Eddyville, will create a much easier and faster route between Newport and Corvallis. It bypasses about ten miles of excessive curves. Safety will be improved with two lanes of travel that include wide shoulders and passing lanes.
The original U.S. 20 that was built in 1917. The project website is at www.us20pme.com. See Oregon Coast Traffic Conditions instant updates around the coast. Where to stay in these areas - Where to eat - Maps and Virtual Tours
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