ASTORIA, Ore – The Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) and ODFW announced the opening of razor clam harvesting at 12:01 a.m. May 6 from the Washington border to Tillamook Head. Recent shellfish samples indicate levels of the marine biotoxin domoic acid are below the limit for two consecutive weeks.
Razor clamming remains closed from Tillamook Head to the California border due to elevated domoic acid levels.
Shellfish biologist Matt Hunter appreciates clam diggers’ patience as the entire Oregon coast has been closed to razor clamming since Sept. 30, 2022.
“Harvester’s patience for this long biotoxin closure will be rewarded with very large clams in the popular Clatsop Beach area. Coming off last year’s very robust harvest, the number of clams is lower, but the size of the clams is larger,” Hunter said.
Razor clam diggers are reminded the limit is the first 15 clams dug, regardless of size or condition. Each digger must have their own container, dig their own clams, and can only have one limit in possession while in the clam digging area (see exception under an Oregon Disabilities Hunting and Fishing Permit.)
Clam diggers can check tides in this area online and go to ODFW’s clamming page for more information on razor clamming.
Domoic acid is produced by algae and originates in the ocean. ODA will continue testing for shellfish toxins at least twice per month, as tides and weather permit. Reopening an area closed for biotoxins requires two consecutive tests with results below the closure limit.
For more information call ODA’s shellfish biotoxin hotline at (800) 448-2474, the ODA Food Safety Program at (503) 986-4720, or visit the ODA Recreational Shellfish Biotoxin Closures Webpage.
Contact ODFW for recreational license requirements, permits, rules, and limits.
ODFW photo: This razor clam measured just under seven inches. Many clams in the newly opened north coast area are in the five to six-inch range.