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Razor Clamming Shutters Again on South Oregon Coast Due to Biotoxin

Published 11/04/23 a 5:35 a.m.
y Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Razor Clamming Closed Again on South Oregon Coast Due to Biotoxin

(Bandon, Oregon) – Once again, it's curtain calls for clamming on one part of the south Oregon coast.

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Razor clamming is once more shut down there, not long after it had reopened. Again, the culprit is high levels of domoic acid, a naturally-occurring marine biotoxin. (Photo Seaside Aquarium)

This region had been shut down to razor clamming earlier in the year and then reopened in August. The current closure is from Cape Blanco down to the California border, about a quarter of the Oregon coast which includes Port Orford, Gold Beach and Brookings.

Razor clam harvesting remains open from Tillamook Head to the Washington border of the coastline, which has the largest population of them in the entire region. More than 90 percent of clams live in these sands.

Razor clamming is not open from Cannon Beach down through Seal Rock, but it is open from the southern edge of Seal Rock down to Cape Blanco. This includes Newport, Florence, Reedsport, Coos Bay and Bandon.

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) along with Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) made those decisions this week, based on ongoing testing for the biotoxin. Testing is done every two weeks when weather conditions allow. Clearing an area requires two tests in a row below the threshold level.

“Mussel harvesting and bay clamming is open statewide,” ODFW said. “Crabbing is open in bays and estuaries coastwide, however recreational ocean crabbing is closed through Nov. 30.”

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.

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Photos above: Seaside Aquarium. Photos below Courtesy Manuela Durson Fine Arts 

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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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