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Majority of Central Oregon Coast Back Open to Razor Clamming

Published 05/30/23 at 4:02 p.m.
y Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Majority of Central Oregon Coast Back Open to Razor Clamming

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(Oregon Coast) – There's good news and bad news for fans of razor clamming on the Oregon coast, as a good chunk of the central coast has reopened to recreational harvesting of the little morsel, but not all of the area. (Above: Seal Rock. All photos Oregon Coast Beach Connection)

This week, Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) announced razor clamming reopened from the north jetty of Florence's Siuslaw River to Seal Rock, after a shutdown due to high levels of the naturally-occurring biotoxin domoic acid found in clam samples. It takes two consecutive weeks of test results below a certain level before an area can be reopened, ODFW said.

Meanwhile, the one area with about 90% of the razor clam population on the Oregon coast remains available: from Seaside northward.

“Razor clamming is still open from the Washington border to Tillamook Head,” ODFW said. “Other areas of the coast remain closed due to elevated domoic acid levels.”

Yachats Bay in the '20s

From Cannon Beach down to Newport is still closed to the activity, encompassing all of Tillamook County and much of Lincoln County.

The daily limit for razor clams is the first 15 dug out of the sands, regardless of their condition or size. Also, you must have your own container, take your own clams, and ODFW said you can only have one of these in possession while you are digging. There are exceptions for those with disabilities – see the ODFW rules online.

Domoic acid has been a growing issue along the Washington coast and Oregon coast for a good decade now, showing up for frequently and delaying or upending the seasons for crabbing and clamming. While it is created naturally by algae in the ocean, the increasingly-warmer waters of the West Coast appear to be contributing to the frequency of occurrences.

Testing on all areas of the Oregon coast are done every two weeks as tides and weather conditions allow.

Clatsop Beach, the area between Seaside and the Washington border, will be closing in about a month on July 1 for the annual conservation closure, which normally lasts until October 1. MORE PHOTOS BELOW

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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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