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Razor Clamming Reopens on N. Oregon Coast March 1 After Long Delay

Published 02/26/2019 at 5:23 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Razor Clamming Reopens on N. Oregon Coast March 1 After Long Delay

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(Seaside, Oregon) – Razor clamming returns to the most prolific area of the Oregon coast, opening back up again on March 1 in the Clatsop Beach area, which runs from Tillamook Head in Seaside to the mouth of the Columbia River. (Above: razor clam photos courtesy Tiffany Boothe, Seaside Aquarium).

This region had been closed to protect undersize clams and give them a chance to grow, after 2018 fall surveys found mostly small clams with shell lengths between two and three inches.

That stretch of sand is where about 80 percent or more of the entire Oregon coast population of razor clams reside.

ODFW Shellfish Biologist Matt Hunter said recent surveys on Clatsop Beach over the fall indicated a growth rate they expected.

“Currently, the dominant size of clams is between 3.5 and 3.75 inches with few larger clams available,” Hunter said. “As the spring progresses and we get longer days, more food will be available and the clams will continue to grow.”

Clatsop Beach is also the most popular section on the Oregon coast for razor clamming, normally open from October 1 through July 14. This is dependent on tests that indicate whether the clams are safe to eat, and in this case that was also given a green light.

Normally, razor clamming resumes on October 1 after the annual conservation shutdown each July. This time, however, stock assessments found the population still undersized – not even desirable to recreational clammers.

This provided a beach bummer for those who hoped to engage in the activity last fall. Whether it affected tourism much to the north Oregon coast region is difficult to measure, however, according to Tourism Marketing Director for the City of Seaside Visitors Bureau Josh Heineman.

“It's hard to say either way,” Heineman said. “To my logical mind, closures like this certainly must affect visitation. However, there are so many engines - weather, events, marketing, etc. - driving those numbers that's it's difficult to separate the noise from the signal. Compared to last year, Clatsop County has actually seen higher occupancy and room revenue in three of the four months since the clamming season failed to open.”

ODFW held a meeting back in October in Seaside where it asked for feedback on the issue. Those who commented and sent in their feedback mostly supported the agency’s proposal to delay opening of the season, giving clams a chance to grow into a size suitable for harvest. Oregon Coast Lodgings for this event - Where to eat - Map and Virtual Tour

 







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