Razor clams

On the lookout for razor clams. 

Razor clams are open for harvesting along North Coast beaches, following a conversation closure from July 15-Sept. 30, the Oregon Department of Agriculture reported.

This conservation closure, which covered 18 miles of beaches between Astoria and Tillamook Head, was not related to biotoxins, which recent samples are below the closure limit. The annual conservation closure was enacted in 1967 to relieve harvest pressure on the local razor clam populations and takes place from July 15 through Sept. 30 every year.

Clatsop County beaches account for 95% of Oregon’s razor clam harvest due to the high density of the local razor clam population. To dig clams, shellfish licenses are required and can be purchased at local sporting goods stores or online at https://dfw.state.or.us. Razor clam shells are thin and easily damaged, thus state law requires that harvesters keep the first 15 clams dug regardless of size or condition.

To the south, razor clamming is closed from the south jetty of the Umpqua River at Reedsport to the Coquille River at Bandon for elevated levels of domoic acid toxin. Razor clamming is open from Tillamook Head south of Seaside to the north jetty of the Umpqua River at Reedsport and is open from the Coquille River at Bandon to the California border.

Recreational mussel harvesting, bay clamming and crabbing are open along the entire Oregon Coast.

Domoic acid is produced by algae and originates in the ocean. The Department of Agriculture will continue to test the shellfish twice per month, as tides permit. Reopening of a closed area requires two consecutive tests with results in the safe range.

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