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Return of Clamming to N. Oregon Coast, Opening Back Up to Non-Residents

Published 09/25/20 at 4:41 AM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Return of Clamming to N. Oregon Coast, Opening Back Up to Non-Residents

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(Seaside, Oregon) – Recreational razor clamming opens back on the north Oregon coast as of October 1, and non-residents may again start crabbing and clamming on Oregon beaches as of October 7. (Photo above courtesy Seaside Aquarium)

Every year, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) shuts down razor clamming in July for conservation of the species, opening back up in October. This is always done at Clatsop beaches, which contain more than 90 percent of the state’s entire population of clams. As it reopens the area this year, ODFW said the clams are in great abundance and they are large.

“Razor clams this year average just under four inches with a tremendous amount of clams over four inches,” ODFW said.

This past winter created a high rate of survival for juvenile clams, which has contributed to this year’s high numbers and mature larger-sized razor clams. Juvenile recruitment was also high this year, so clammers can expect good numbers of one and two-year-old razor clams.

Clatsop beaches encompass some 18 miles from the Seaside side of Tillamook Head to the south jetty of the Columbia River. ODFW encourages clammers to maintain social distancing of at least six feet from anyone who is not a member of the same household.

The conservation closure has happened every year since 1967, running July 15 to October 1. Some years it has gone on longer if clam sizes or numbers are not satisfactory. The closures prevent disturbance and allow young clams to properly mature. During each closure, ODFW marine biologists conduct stock assessment surveys to determine population health and status.

Meanwhile, if you cannot make it to the north Oregon coast, other areas that provide plenty of clams include Agate Beach, North Jetty, and South Beach in the Newport area along with Cannon Beach, Cape Meares, and Yachats Beach.

The other good news is that non-residents can again engage in recreational crabbing and clamming after closures were put in place to help curb the spread of COVID-19. That restriction is lifted as of October 7.

Clamming along the entire Oregon coast had been closed to people who do not reside in Oregon starting April 11, as well as crabbing in ocean areas north of Cape Falcon and the Columbia River. The emergency rule was meant to limit visitation and crowding in coastal communities. The rule expires midnight October 6 and will not be renewed.

However, southern Oregon coast beaches are currently closed for recreational and commercial mussel harvesting because of a marine biotoxin, shellfish poison. The closure runs from the south jetty of the Coquille River in Bandon to the California border.

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..

For more information about clamming on the Oregon coast, visit ODFW’s Crabbing and Clamming page online. Oregon Coast Hotels for this - Where to eat - Map - Virtual Tour




 

Photos below courtesy Seaside Aquarium


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