ASTORIA, Ore. – Razor clamming will close 11:59 p.m. Saturday, July 14 on Clatsop County beaches for the annual conservation closure to protect newly-set young clams.
Since 1967 the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has closed the 18 miles of beaches north of Tillamook Head to razor clam digging while young clams establish themselves on the beach during the summer.
“We want to ensure that the Clatsop beaches continue to be productive for razor clam harvesters,” said Matt Hunter, ODFW’s Shellfish and Phytoplankton Project leader. “By not disturbing the young razor clams it increases the chance of good recruitment.”
During the razor clamming harvest closure, ODFW will conduct stock assessments to determine the health of the population as it has on Clatsop beaches since 2004.
Clatsop beaches are the most productive razor clam beaches in the state, accounting for more than 90 percent of total harvest.
Digging for razor clams continues to be open on other state beaches though a few closures are in effect due to toxin levels. (Currently, razor clamming is closed from Cape Perpetua to the South Jetty of the Umpqua River and from Cape Arago south to California border due to unsafe toxin levels.) The best opportunities outside Clatsop beaches are in the Newport area, with the most consistent producers being Agate Beach, North Jetty and South Beach. Other beaches that can produce razor clams include Cannon Beach, Cape Meares and Yachats Beach.
Bay clam harvesting is open coast-wide as well.
Always check for toxin-related closures before harvesting clams or crabs by calling the shellfish safety hotline (1-800-448-2474). Closures are also noted on ODA’s Recreation Shellfish page and on ODFW’s Recreation Report – Clamming and Crabbing Report.
For more information about clamming on the Oregon coast, visit ODFW’s Crabbing and Clamming page online.