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Razor Clamming Reopens on N. Oregon Coast's Clatsop Beach; All Other Beaches Not Allowed

Published 05/07/23 at 5:44 AM
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Razor Clamming Reopens on N. Oregon Coast's Clatsop Beach; All Other Beaches Not Allowed

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(Oregon Coast) – Another bad year for clamming on one small part of the Oregon coast is over – at least for a little while. Razor clamming on the region's most prolific area – Clatsop Beach – is back open once again, according to Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW). This area runs from Seaside (Tillamook Head) through to the Columbia River. (Photo Seaside Aquarium)

“Recent shellfish samples indicate levels of the marine biotoxin domoic acid are below the limit for two consecutive weeks,” ODFW said.

However, razor clamming is still closed from Cannon Beach down through the southern coast and the California border (Brookings).

Razor clamming has been shut down on the entire coastline due to the biotoxin since September 30, and ODFW's shellfish biologist Matt Hunter understands the frustration. He said he appreciates the patience of visitors and Oregonians.

Clam diggers will get a sizable reward by opening Clatsop Beach – which has some 90 percent of the entire razor clam population of the state. Clams there are extra large as well.

Photo Seaside Aquarium

“Coming off last year’s very robust harvest, the number of clams is lower, but the size of the clams is larger,” Hunter said.

However, this section of the north coast always undergoes the conservation closure starting in July, to keep clam populations healthy in the area by allowing them to reproduce properly. That closure typically lasts through September 30. This means there are only two real months worth of razor clamming in the Clatsop Beach area.

ODFW wants to remind the public the limit for clams is the first 15 that were dug up, no matter the condition or size. Each digger is required to have their own container and dig for their own clams. You are also limited to one limit in that area. You can see more clam digging rules and the tides schedule at the ODFW clamming page.

The biotoxin is naturally-occurring in nature and is created by algae that is already in the ocean. Domoic acid has been an increasingly problematic issue along the Oregon coast and Washington coast in the last decade, causing larger and larger shutdowns of clamming and crabbing. Indeed, there is currently a closure for recreational crabbing on one part of the southern Oregon coast. Recreational Crabbing Closed on Part of South Oregon Coast Due to Toxin

For more information call ODA's shellfish biotoxin hotline at (800) 448-2474, the ODA Food Safety Program at (503) 986-4720

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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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