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Razor Clamming Reopens on Bulk of Oregon Coast

Published 09/26/21 at 3:46 AM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Razor Clamming Reopens on Bulk of Oregon Coast

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(Oregon Coast) – The vast majority of the Oregon coast is back open to recreational razor clamming after biotoxin levels had closed it for awhile. Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) made the announcement on Friday, saying that the stretch from Tillamook Head at Cannon Beach south to the California border is open once again. Recent shellfish samples taken from this area indicate levels of the marine biotoxin domoic acid have fallen below the alert level. (Photo courtesy Seaside Aquarium)

Clatsop Beach, however, remains closed as part of the annual conservation closure. That stretch is the most prolific portion of the coastline in terms of numbers of razor clams. It had been shut down for about a year, partially due to the biotoxin, and then the conservational closure took over in July.

The area from Seaside to Warrenton shuts down every year from July through to September to conserve the population numbers, then usually reopens again on October 1.

Alex Manderson, Food Safety Specialist with ODA, told Oregon Coast Beach Connection it will open back on October 1 as scheduled, which will come as a relief to many fans of the activity who missed the area's easy clamming this past year.

Meanwhile, harvesting of mussels, bay clams and crab remains open on the entire Oregon coast.

“Coastal scallops are not affected by biotoxin closures when only the adductor muscle is eaten,” ODA said. “ODA does not recommend eating whole scallops. Commercial shellfish products remain safe for consumers.”

Paralytic shellfish toxin and domoic acid toxin are produced by algae that reproduce under certain conditions in the ocean. ODA will continue to test for shellfish toxins twice per month, as tides and weather permit. The next round of testing happens October 11, according to Manderson.

In order for an area to be reopened, two consecutive tests are needed with results below the toxin threshold.

For more information call ODA's shellfish biotoxin safety hotline at (800) 448-2474, the Food Safety Division at (503) 986-4720, or visit the ODA Shellfish Biotoxin Closures webpage.

Contact ODFW for recreational license requirements, permits, rules and limits.

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Photos above courtesy Seaside Aquarium

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