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N. Oregon Coast Razor Clamming to Remain Closed Through September

Published 07/06/21 at 7:25 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

N. Oregon Coast Razor Clamming to Remain Closed Through September

(Seaside, Oregon) – The north Oregon coast's annual conservation closure for razor clams begins soon, yet no one will really know the difference: razor clamming there has been closed for almost a year. This means the area around Seaside and Warrenton (Clatsop Beach) will remain closed to the activity at least through September 30.

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Clatsop Beach means from Tillamook Head in Seaside to the mouth of the Columbia River. The area has been shut down for razor clams since October of last year because of the biotoxin domoic acid, which have been at unsafe levels all year.

The annual conservation closure allows newly set young clams to establish themselves on the 18 miles of Clatsop beaches. Protecting the clams on these beaches is vital to their population and future clamming opportunities as more than 90 percent of the total razor clam harvest in Oregon occurs here. The annual closure was established in1967.

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) staff assess razor clam stocks during the conservation closure. The 2020 assessments showed the third highest abundance since 2004 when assessments began.

When razor clamming reopened October 1 last year, a good harvest season was expected as stock assessments showed high abundance with many clams over four inches. However, due to very high levels of domoic acid, razor clamming on Clatsop beaches closed October 30 and remain closed due to continued toxin levels above the closure threshold.

ODFW staff assess razor clam stocks during the conservation closure. The 2020 assessments showed the third highest abundance since 2004 when assessments began.

Razor clam harvesting is open on other state beaches from Cape Lookout (just south of Netarts Bay) south to the California border. The best opportunities outside Clatsop beaches are in the Newport area, with the most consistent producers being Agate Beach, North Jetty, and South Beach. Other razor clam harvest areas include Winchester Bay, Bandon and Gold Beach among others.

Bay clam harvesting is currently open along the entire Oregon coast.

ODFW said to always check for toxin-related closures before harvesting clams or crabs by calling the shellfish safety hotline 1-800-448-2472. Closures are also noted on ODA'S Recreation Shellfish page and on ODFW's Recreation Report – Clamming and Crabby Report.

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