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Large Section of Oregon Coast Back Open to Razor Clamming, Including Tillamook, Lincoln Counties

Published 12/03/23 a 6:35 a.m.
B
y Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Razor Clamming Reopens on Majority of Oregon Coast - Including Tillamook, Lincoln Counties

(Lincoln City, Oregon) – A large and important section of Oregon coast has got its razor clam good times back. Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) and Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) found no more harmful levels of a biotoxin in that region. (Lost Creek near Waldport is open to clamming - Oregon Coast Beach Connection)

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Opened back up is the area from Seal Rock up to Cannon Beach, which had been closed for months to razor clamming. The reopened area now reaches from the Washington coast border down to Cape Blanco near Langlois. However, Cape Blanco down through Brookings are still closed.

Recent shellfish samples show the levels of the marine biotoxin domoic acid below the limit for two consecutive tests. It takes two in a row to sound the all-clear.

Even so, crabbing, mussel harvesting and bay clamming are open along the entire Oregon coast.

Clamming is now a go in towns like Manzanita, Pacific City, Lincoln City, Newport and Seal Rock.

The remaining closure is still a fairly large area of the southern Oregon coast, including Port Orford, Gold Beach and Brookings.

Razor clam harvesting has been open for awhile from Tillamook Head to the Washington border of the coastline, the area which has the largest population of them in the entire region. More than 90 percent of Oregon clams live in these sands of Seaside and Warrenton.

Domoic acid is a naturally-occurring biotoxin, produced by algae in the ocean. It can also affect crabbing at times and has delayed crabbing seasons in recent years.

Oregon coast officials test for it at least twice a month.

Eating shellfish containing domoic acid can make people very sick, and it cannot be cooked out of the meat. It at times causes severe stomach issues and can result in death.

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

Contact ODFW for recreational license requirements, permits, rules, and limits.

FUN FACTS: WHY IS CLATSOP BEACH SO THICK WITH CLAMS?

The area from Seaside up to Warrenton is king for razor clams. Get a permit and drag the kids out at a lower tide.

The reason? The area is well fed, according to Tiffany Boothe of Seaside Aquarium.

“Most of the nitrates and phosphates are delivered via the Columbia River, but some also come down the Necanicum and other smaller coastal rivers,” Boothe said. “This is why there is such good razor clamming on almost all of Clatsop County beaches.”

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Large Section of Oregon Coast Back Open to Razor Clamming, Including Tillamook, Lincoln Counties




Photos above courtesy Seaside Aquarium



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Andre' GW Hagestedt is editor, owner and primary photographer / videographer of Oregon Coast Beach Connection, an online publication that sees over 1 million pageviews per month. He is also author of several books about the coast.

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