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Razor Clamming Reopens On All of Southern Oregon Coast

Published 08/19/23 at 5:44 p.m.
y Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Razor Clamming Reopens On All of Southern Oregon Coast

(Florence, Oregon) – A larger chunk of the Oregon coast just opened up to razor clamming, as Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) found that shellfish test samples indicated OK levels of domoic acid. That naturally-occurring biotoxin is what shut it down in the first place months ago. (Above: near Gold Beach / Oregon Department of Forestry)

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ODA and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) Friday greenlit clamming from the south jetty of the Siuslaw River in Florence down to Cape Blanco (Port Orford). Now, the public can go razor clamming from the central Oregon coast starting at Seal Rock down to the California border. Areas currently open include Reedsport, Coos Bay, Bandon, Gold Beach and Brookings.

Razor clamming is still closed from everything north of Seal Rock – which includes Newport, Lincoln City, Nehalem, Seaside and Warrenton. The area from Seaside northward is closed because of the annual conservation closure to retain young clam populations there. However, domoic acid has closed all other regions south of Tillamook Head.

At least now, more than half of the Oregon coastline is back open to the activity.

In order to reopen an area, shellfish must test above the safe level for two consecutive weeks.

Every year, Clatsop Beach (Seaside to the Columbia River) closes from July 1 through September 30 for the conservation closure, pending biotoxin test results. In recent years, this has not gone well: domoic acid has prevented the reopening of this part of the north Oregon coast for months sometimes.

Cape Blanco, courtesy Oregon State Parks

“The daily razor clam limit is the first 15 clams dug, regardless of size or condition,” ODFW said. “Each digger must have their own container, dig their own clams, and can only have one limit in possession while in the clam digging area.

There are exceptions: see the Oregon Disabilities Hunting and Fishing Permit.

Crab, mussel, and bay clam harvesting remains open along the entire Oregon coast. Clam diggers can check tides online and go to ODFW’s clamming page for more information on razor clamming.

You'll want to check with ODFW for recreational license requirements, permits, rules and limits. For more information call Oregon Department of Agriculture's (ODA) shellfish biotoxin safety hotline at (800) 448-2474, the Food Safety Division at (503) 986-4720, or visit the ODA recreational shellfish biotoxin closures webpage.

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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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