After a record setting season, razor clamming on Clatsop beaches will close Friday, July 15 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 to allow 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 razor clam population as it has done since 2004.
This year the beaches had a record harvest with nearly all harvesters getting their limit of clams every trip. 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, with the best opportunities around Newport. Some of the most consistent producers are Cannon Beaches, Cape Meares, Agate Beach, North Jetty, South Beach, and Bob’s Creek.
Currently beaches south of the Siuslaw North Jetty are closed to razor clam harvest due to elevated levels of the biotoxin, domoic acid. Bay clam harvesting is open coast-wide as well. For the latest shellfish safety information call the shellfish safety hotline before harvesting: 1-800-448-2474. For more information about clamming on the Oregon coast, visit ODFW’s Shellfish Page online.