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Central Oregon Coast Closes Razor Clamming; South Coast Opens Mussels

Published 10/24/20 at 7:44 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Central Oregon Coast Closes Razor Clamming; South Coast Opens Mussels

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(Bandon, Oregon) – One ban is lifted for the southern Oregon coast and another one is put in place on the central coast. (Above: Bandon, courtesy Oregon State Parks and Rec Dept)

Oregon coast officials were forced to ban razor clamming on the central Oregon coast because of biotoxins in the meat of the clams. Eating clams harvested in the areas from Florence up to Lincoln City could make you sick. The Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) announced the closure this week, which echoes a similar closure to razor clamming on the entire Washington coast put in place about the same time.

Meanwhile, razor clamming is open from Neskowin up through Seaside and Warrenton, as well as the southern end of Florence southward to Brookings.

ODFW said that razor clam sampling found the marine biotoxin domoic acid in the clams had exceeded the limit for human consumption. Eating poisoned clams can make a person quite sick in the stomach and even cause death in some cases.

The area from Seaside to Warrenton has the most clams on the entire coastline. On the southern coast, excellent places to find them include North Umpqua Spit (Winchester Bay); Bastendorff Beach and North Spit (Coos Bay); Whiskey Run (Bandon); and Meyers Creek Beach (Gold Beach).

A ban on mussel harvesting had recently been in place on the south coast but has been lifted after wildlife officials found recent mussel samples with the marine biotoxin paralytic shellfish poison had dropped below the closure limit.

Recent razor clam samples indicate the marine biotoxin domoic acid has exceeded the closure limit. Meanwhile, recent mussel samples indicate the marine biotoxin paralytic shellfish poison has dropped below the closure limit.

Mussel harvesting is now open along the entire Oregon coast, ODFW said.

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

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Central Oregon Coast Closes Razor Clamming; South Coast Opens Mussels

Photos above: Seaside Aquarium

Photo courtesy Bandon Visitors Center

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