Stay Eat Events Weather Beaches

Biotoxin Closes All Razor Clamming on Oregon Coast

Published 09/30/22 at 6:24 PM
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Biotoxin Closes All Razor Clamming on Oregon Coast

Latest Coastal Lodging News Alerts
In Seaside:
Includes exclusive listings; major specials now that winter is here
In Cannon Beach:
Includes rentals not listed anywhere else
In Manzanita, Wheeler, Rockaway Beach:
major specials for winter
In Pacific City, Oceanside:
Winter's enticing specials now
In Lincoln City:
Major winter specials now
In Depoe Bay, Gleneden Beach:
major specials this season
In Newport:
Look for many specials
In Waldport
New amenities offered; specials and tempting prices now
In Yachats, Florence
Big deals available; lodgings not listed anywhere else
Southern Oregon Coast Hotels / Lodgings
Reedsport to Brookings, places to stay; winter deals

(Oregon Coast) – The entire Oregon coast is closed to razor clamming due to high levels of the marine biotoxin domoic acid, a disappointment to many as the upper third of the coastline was just closed off to the activity as well. (Photo Oregon Coast Beach Connection)

Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) handed down the order Friday, closing off razor clam harvesting from the Washington coast border down through the south Oregon coast at Brookings. Lab results show the biotoxin has exceeded the safety levels for human consumption and thus the closure limit.

Mussel harvesting remains closed from the Columbia River down through the north part of Yachats, leaving the entire south Oregon coast still open for that activity. Mussels have been hit with paralytic shellfish toxin. Both are caused by a certain kind of diatom.

The annual conservation closure was just about to end up on the north Oregon coast, where the beaches from Seaside into the northern edges of Warrenton are closed every July through October 1 so that new clams can grow properly. However, testing in that area also showed high levels of the biotoxin.

Judy Dowell with ODA told Oregon Coast Beach Connection they were beginning to see signs a harmful algae bloom – or HAB – would occur.

“ODFW was checking often for an algae called pseudo-nitzschia, which creates the biotoxin,” she said. “They've seen a big uptick lately in that algae. It's going on up all of the coast. Washington is having similar issues.”

How did so many of these unwelcome diatoms bloom?

Dowell said it has to do with water temperatures and upwelling, which brings more nutrients for them to feed on. Conditions became right for them, and in turn prime for pseudo-nitzschia to cause the biotoxin.

Situations like this don't bode well for the future. There were similar situations in 2015 and 2020, which resulted in extended clamming closures, over a year in the last case.

Recreational bay clam and crab harvesting remain open along the entire Oregon coast.

Testing by Oregon coast officials is conducted twice a month as tides and weather allow. Biotoxins have to be at safer levels for two tests in a row in order to reopen an area.

In late 2020, just before the conservation closure ended on the north Oregon coast, the area was hit hard by extremely high levels of biotoxins, 10 times the amount of the 2015 closure.

The Washington coast just opened up some clamming days, including today being the last one until at least the middle of October. Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) recently announced the next possible clam dates would be October 8 – 14 and 24th - 30th.

For more information call ODA's shellfish biotoxin safety hotline at (800) 448-2474, the Food Safety Division at (503) 986-4720, or visit the ODA Shellfish Biotoxin Closures webpage.

Oregon Coast Hotels in this area - South Coast Hotels - Where to eat - Maps - Virtual Tours


Photos below courtesy Seaside Aquarium

More About Oregon Coast hotels, lodging.....

More About Oregon Coast Restaurants, Dining.....

Coastal Spotlight

LATEST Related Oregon Coast Articles

Great Coastal Gale of '07 Tore Into Oregon Coast 15 Years Ago - Video
The storm changed parts of the region forever. History, Bandon, Coos Bay, Newport, Lincoln City, Manzanita, Cannon Beach, Seaside, Astoria
How Storms - Even Solar Storms - May Affect Whales on Oregon / Washington Coast
Why do they disappear? Does it disturb them at all? Marine sciences
Attending Seaside Aquarium This Month Helps Feed the Hungry on Oregon Coast -...
Patrons pay admission to the aquarium with two cans of food per person. Seaside events
Warm Sunsets to Raucous Oregon Coast Storms: Upclose at Cannon Beach's Schoon...
One of the major highlights is that beachfront lawn. Cannon Beach hotels, lodging reviews
Washington Coast Holidays Include Crab Pot Tree, Santa with Pirates, Music, Food
Holiday happs from Ilwaco up through Westport. Washington coast events
Famed Holiday Show Tradition Back on Oregon Coast, at Newport Performing Arts...
The Christmas Show! is finally back, Dec. 16 and 17. Newport events
Cyber Monday for Oregon Coast Too: Giving the Beach for Christmas
Give a night or two at the coast, or books, hoodies, T's. weather
Orcas Spotted Again on N. Oregon Coast - First Time This Pod Recorded Here
A pod of four were photographed on November 23. Marine sciences

Back to Oregon Coast

Contact Advertise on Oregon Coast Beach Connection
All Content, unless otherwise attributed, copyright Oregon Coast Beach Connection. Unauthorized use or publication is not permitted