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Razor Clamming Closed on Northern Half of Oregon Coast Through Washington

Published 11/01/20 at 4:45 AM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Razor Clamming Closed on Northern Half of Oregon Coast Through Washington

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(Manzanita, Oregon) – Razor clamming is now closed from the middle part of the Oregon coast up through the Washington coast, leaving only the southern beaches of Oregon open to the activity. (Photo above courtesy Seaside Aquarium)

Earlier this month, razor clamming along the central Oregon coast was closed due to the marine biotoxin domoic acid: now the northern third of the coast is closed for the same reason.

The Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) announce the razor clam closure from the northern part of Florence, through Yachats, Newport and Lincoln City is extended and now includes the north coast. Recent razor clam samples indicate domoic acid has exceeded the closure limit.

All commercial and recreational razor clamming is now closed from the Columbia River to the north jetty of the Siuslaw River in Florence. This includes the popular Clatsop Beach razor clam fishery on the north coast (Seaside through Warrenton), as well as through Cannon Beach, Tillamook Bay and Pacific City. Razor clam harvesting remains open from the south jetty of the Siuslaw River to the California border.

Mussel, bay clam, and crab harvesting is open along the entire Oregon coast. ODA will continue to test for shellfish toxins twice per month as tides and weather permit. Reopening an area closed for marine biotoxins requires two consecutive tests with results below the closure limit. Contact ODFW for recreational license requirements, permits, rules, and limits.

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.

With a set of razor clam digs scheduled for the Washington coast this month, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) closed down recreational harvesting last week, lasting at least through November 12. Test results on razor clams dug at Long Beach indicate levels of domoic acid that exceed the threshold (20 parts per million) set by state public health officials for safe consumption.

WDFW managers have cancelled digs previously anticipated for Oct. 31- November 3 and await additional test results prior to announcing whether digs tentatively scheduled for November 13 - 19 and beyond can move forward.

The agency said it has already seen significantly higher than normal participation on recent digs. To avoid concentrating clam diggers and disproportionately increasing the risk of COVID-19, razor clam beaches are closed statewide - though only Long Beach clams exceeded safe concentrations of domoic acid levels so far.

“We know how important these opportunities are to Washington citizens and coastal communities, and we’re looking to reopen as soon as it’s safe to do so,” said Larry Phillips, WDFW’s coastal region director. “Yet, we also know that these toxins have a tendency to hang on – it's not inconceivable that we’ll have to wait until December before we’re clamming again. When that time comes, we’re still going to need people to practice good social distancing behaviors as they visit coastal communities.”

Razor clam managers with the agency previously announced tentative digs through December, providing opportunities to dig while maintaining social distancing.

The tentative razor clam digs through December, along with low tides and beaches, are listed below:

P.M. TIDES:

Nov. 13, Friday, 4:58 pm, -0.3; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
Nov. 14, Saturday, 5:45 pm, -1.3; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
Nov. 15, Sunday, 6:32 pm, -1.7; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
Nov. 16, Monday, 7:19 pm, -1.8; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
Nov. 17, Tuesday, 8:06 pm, -1.6; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
Nov. 18, Wednesday, 8:56 pm, -1.1; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
Nov. 19, Thursday, 9:47 pm, -0.5; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks

Dec. 1, Tuesday, 7:14 pm, -0.4; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
Dec. 2, Wednesday, 7:51 pm, -0.4; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
Dec. 3, Thursday, 8:30 pm, -0.3; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
Dec. 4, Friday, 9:12 pm, -0.1; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks

Dec. 12, Saturday, 4:44 pm, -0.8; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
Dec. 13, Sunday, 5:32 pm, -1.4; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
Dec. 14, Monday, 6:19 pm, -1.7; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
Dec. 15, Tuesday, 7:05pm, -1.7; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
Dec. 16, Wednesday, 7:50 pm, -1.5; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
Dec. 17, Thursday, 8:35 pm, -1.0; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
Dec. 18, Friday, 9:21 pm, -0.4; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
Dec. 28, Monday, 5:43 pm, -0.2; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
Dec. 29, Tuesday, 6:20 pm, -0.5; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
Dec. 30, Wednesday, 6:57 pm, -0.7; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
Dec. 31, Thursday, 7:34 pm, -0.7; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
No digging is allowed before noon during digs when low tide occurs in the afternoon or evening.

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