With the nicer weather and low tides many people may be thinking of getting out and clamming. However there are still some areas of the coast that are closed to certain types of clamming. The recreational harvest of razor clams is closed from Tillamook Head south of Seaside to the California border for elevated levels of domoic acid. This includes all beaches and all bays. The recreational harvest of razor clams is open from the Columbia River to Tillamook Head. The recreational harvest of mussels and bay clams is open along the entire Oregon Coast. Recreational crab harvesting from the ocean, and in bays and estuaries, is open from the Columbia River to the California border. Scallops are not affected by closures when only the adductor muscle is eaten.
The consumption of whole recreationally caught scallops is not recommended. Commercial shellfish products remain safe for consumers. Samples show no biotoxins at this time. The Oregon Health Authority has issued an advisory for softshell clams along the entire Oregon Coast because they may contain high levels of naturally occurring arsenic. ODA will continue to test for shellfish toxins weekly, as tides permit. Domoic acid and PST are produced by algae and usually originate in the ocean. ODA will continue to test for shellfish toxins weekly, as tides permit. Reopening of an area requires two consecutive tests in the safe range.
For more information go online to http://www.oregon.gov/ODA/programs/FoodSafety/Shellfish/Pages/ShellfishClosures.aspx.