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More Razor Clamming Opens Up on Oregon Coast; Still Some Shellfish Shut-Downs

Published 6/29/24 at 6:15 a.m.
By Andre' GW Hagestedt, Oregon Coast Beach Connection

(Oregon Coast) – More parts of the Oregon coast have opened up to clamming, after a severe shutdown in May that closed all shellfish harvesting due to a health threat. Now, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) has announced yet another area of coastline is back open to razor clamming: from Coos Bay down to the California border. (Above: Gold Beach area - see Manuela Durson Fine Arts for more)

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Cape Blanco to the California border opened up for razor clamming on June 21, and the section of coastline from the Washington coast border to Yachats has been OK for razor clams for awhile.

However, mussel gathering is still off-limits due to biotoxins, and bay clamming is closed from about Neskowin down to the California border. Those shellfish continue testing high for the marine biotoxin paralytic shellfish poison (PSP).

Some razor clamming remains closed in the region: from Yachats through Coos Bay. ODFW and Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) said it's because of both PSP and domoic acid.

Meanwhile, on the Washington coast, biotoxin threats are keeping Grays Harbor and Willapa Bay closed to all gathering of clams, mussels and oysters. See Washington coast updates

“ODA will continue testing for shellfish toxins at least twice per month, as tides and weather permit,” ODFW said. “Reopening an area closed for biotoxins requires two consecutive tests with results below the closure limit.”

Razor clams:


Photo Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

It is open from the Washington border to Yachats River: this includes Seaside, Warrenton (the areas with the most razor clams), Cannon Beach, Manzanita, Rockaway Beach, Bayocean, Oceanside, Netarts, Pacific City, Lincoln City, Newport, Waldport and the northern end of Yachats.

Razor clamming is not open from Yachats through Florence, Reedsport, the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area and northern Coos Bay.

Razor clamming is open from southern Coos Bay to the border, including Bandon, Port Orford, Gold Beach and Brookings.

Bay Clams: open from Cascade Head (about Neskowin) to the Washington border, including the bays Nestucca, Netarts, Tillamook and Nehalem.

Bay clams are closed from Cascade Head to the southern border of Oregon, including bays at Lincoln City (Siletz), Depoe Bay, Newport's Yaquina Bay, Waldport's Alsea Bay, Yachats, Florence, Winchester Bay, Coos Bay, Bandon, Port Orford, Gold Beach and Brookings.

Back in May, 21 people became seriously ill after they ate mussels acquired on the north coast. ODA soon found biotoxins in most parts of the shoreline, and closed some out of an abundance of caution.


Nehalem Bay (Oregon Coast Beach Connection)

Razor clamming on Clatsop Beach (Seaside to Warrenton) will again close for the annual conservation closure on July 15 through October 1. This is to allow new clams to set and maintain the thick population of the area.

Remember to always call Oregon Department of Agriculture's (ODA) shellfish biotoxin safety hotline at (800) 448-2474, the Food Safety Shellfish Desk at (503) 986-4726, or check the ODA recreational shellfish biotoxin closures webpage before clamming or crabbing.

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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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