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South Oregon Coast Reopens to Razor Clamming

Published 07/03/22 at 5:25 AM PST
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

South Oregon Coast Reopens to Razor Clamming

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(Coos Bay, Oregon) – Razor clamming is back open on the southern Oregon coast after being closed for some time due to high levels of the marine biotoxin domoic acid. Tests in the last two weeks have shown that to be below harmful levels. (Photo courtesy City of Coos Bay)

This opens up the entire Oregon coast to recreational razor clam harvesting. Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) made the announcement at the end of the week. Those hotspots around Gold Beach, Bandon and Coos Bay can once again be enjoyed for the culinary delights as well as sandy fun.

Harvesting of bay clams and crabs has stayed open in the meantime, all along Oregon's 360 miles of coastline. ODFW said coastal scallops are not affected during such biotoxin closures if only the adductor muscle is consumed.

“ODA does not recommend eating whole scallops,” said ODFW. “Commercial shellfish products in retail stores and restaurants remain safe for consumers.”

Such closures sometimes occur, and some years they're longer than others. The biotoxin is naturally occurring, however.

Photo courtesy Seaside Aquarium

“Paralytic shellfish toxin and domoic acid toxin are produced by algae and originate in the ocean,” ODFW said. “ODA will continue to test for shellfish toxins twice per month, as tides and weather permit. Reopening an area closed for biotoxins requires two consecutive tests with results below the closure limit.”

The annual conservation closure on the north Oregon coast at Clatsop Beach is coming up on July 15, where harvesting in Seaside, Gearhart and Warrenton won't be allowed through September 30. This is to let new clams set and maintain the high population.

That area accounts for over 90 percent of the entire razor clam population on the Oregon coast.

Good spots for clamming on the south Oregon coast include Winchester Bay's North Umpqua Spit, Coos Bay's Bastendorff Beach and North Spit, Whiskey Run at Bandon, and the Meyers Creek area near Gold Beach.

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.

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Near Gold Beach, Meyers Creek Beach (photo courtesy Oregon Dept. of Forestry)

Coos Bay, courtesy Oregon's Adventure Coast

Photos of Bandon above and below courtesy Manuela Durson - see Manuela Durson Fine Arts for more.

South Oregon Coast Reopens to Razor Clamming

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