Tag Archives: clatsop county

Clatsop Co. Razor Clam Digging To Reopen March 1

THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE OREGON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE

Razor clamming will reopen on Clatsop Beach (from Tillamook Head in Seaside to the mouth of the Columbia River) on Friday, March 1.

AFTER BEING CLOSED FOR HARVEST SINCE LAST FALL TO ALLOW RAZOR CLAMS TO GROW BIGGER, CLATSOP COUNTY BEACHES ARE REOPENING MARCH 1 FOR DIGGING. (ODFW)

This area had been closed to protect undersize clams and give them a chance to grow, after 2018 fall surveys found mostly small clams with shell lengths between 2-3 inches.

“The small razor clams on Clatsop Beach we observed this fall have grown at a rate we anticipated,” said ODFW Shellfish Biologist Matt Hunter. “Currently, the dominant size of clams is between 3.5 and 3.75 inches with few larger clams available. As the spring progresses and we get longer days, more food will be available and the clams will continue to grow.”

Clatsop Beach is Oregon’s most popular area for razor clamming and can be open Oct. 1-July 14 each year, provided ODA testing finds clams are safe to eat. Recent tests show razor clams from Clatsop Beach are safe to consume.


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Call ODA’s Shellfish safety information hotline at (800) 448-2474 or visit ODA’s Recreational Shellfish Safety Page or ODFW’s Recreation Report to check for any closures before clamming or crabbing.

Clatsop Co. Razor Clamming A No-go Till Next March To Let Bivalves Grow

THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE OREGON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE

The popular razor clam season on Clatsop County beaches will remain closed until March 1, 2019.

ODFW SAYS PUBLIC COMMENT FAVORED ALLOWING CLATSOP COUNTY RAZOR CLAMS TO GROW LARGER BEFORE REOPENING DIGGING. (ODFW)

Extension of the annual conservation closure only applies to Clatsop County beaches, and prohibits all harvest of razor clams (both recreational and commercial) along the 18 mile stretch of beach from Tillamook Head (Seaside) to the mouth of the Columbia River. 

The closure is in place to protect undersize clams and provide better clamming opportunities on Clatsop beaches next year. ODFW’s annual stock assessment survey for razor clams earlier this year found that most clams were too small to be harvested by commercial clammers or desired by recreational clammers. The population was dominated by small clams with shell lengths between 2-3 inches.

ODFW hosted a public meeting Oct. 22 in Seaside to ask for feedback on potential management actions, including closure of the season until spring. Members of the public who attended the meeting and sent in comments supported ODFW’s proposal to delay opening of the season and give clams a chance to grow into a size suitable for harvest.

“We had great feedback from those who attended the meeting and those who could not. The consensus was to give the small clams a chance to grow and delay until the spring to provide a quality razor clamming experience,” stated Matt Hunter, ODFW Shellfish Project Leader. “During the closure, ODFW shellfish staff will continue to monitor the growth of razor clams to ensure they are growing adequately.” 

Typically, razor clamming reopens Oct. 1 each year after an annual July 14-Sept. 30 conservation closure. Check the latest regulations at ODFW’s Clamming and Crabbing Report, https://myodfw.com/recreation-report/crabbing-clamming-report/marine-zone

ODFW Delays Razor Clam Digging on Clatsop County Beaches

THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE OREGON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE

ODFW will delay the opening of fall razor clam harvest along the Clatsop beaches from the traditional date of Oct. 1 to Nov. 1 at the earliest , to allow time to collect public feedback on management options in light of a recent stock assessment.

OREGON SHELLFISH MANAGERS SAY ITS NORTHERN RAZOR CLAM POPULATION IS ON THE SMALL SIDE. ONE OPTION IS TO POSTPONE DIGGING THROUGH THE WINTER TO ALLOW THEM TO GROW TO LARGER SIZE. (ODFW)

Extension of the annual conservation closure only applies to Clatsop County beaches, and prohibits all harvest of razor clams (both recreational and commercial) along the 18 mile stretch of beach from Tillamook Head (Seaside) to the mouth of the Columbia River, until the closure is lifted. 

ODFW recently completed the annual stock assessment survey for razor clams along the Clatsop beaches. The survey found that most clams are too small to be harvested by commercial clammers or desired by recreational clammers. 

“Razor clams are moderately abundant on Clatsop beaches this fall, but the population is currently dominated by small clams with shell lengths between 2-3 inches,” said ODFW Shellfish Biologist Matt Hunter. “Recreational clammers typically try to avoid these small clams, and they are smaller than the 3 ¾” minimum size allowed for commercial harvest.” 

According to Hunter, domination of the razor clam population by small clams is far from normal. “In 2004, we also saw large numbers of small razor clams along Clatsop beaches, but they were more variable in size with a few medium and large clams,” he explained. “Right now, it is difficult to find any razor clams larger than 4 inches.” 

During the month of October, ODFW staff will hold a public meeting to solicit feedback regarding potential management actions that may be taken to protect undersize clams and provide better clamming opportunities next spring. Options include extending the closure through the winter to give clams time to grow into a size suitable for harvest.

Recently, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife delayed the traditional October razor clam digs on the Long Beach peninsula until late December due to similar concerns about the population and small size of clams. In Oregon, the population includes even fewer medium and large razor clams.

 Most beaches along the Oregon coast are currently open for razor clamming.  However, the south coast from the south jetty Umpqua River to the California border remains closed to razor clamming due to elevated marine biotoxins. Harvest of razor clams may be postponed at anytime due to elevated domoic acid or other marine biotoxins. 

Bay clams and crab remain open for recreational harvesting along the entire Oregon coast. Mussels are open for recreational harvest along most of the Oregon coast, but harvest of mussels is closed from the south jetty of the Coquille River to the California border. For more information please call ODA’s shellfish safety information Hotline at (800) 448-2474 or visit the ODA Recreational Shellfish Biotoxin Closures webpage or ODFW’s Recreation Report – Crabbing and Clamming page

Oregon’s Best Beaches For Razor Clams Opening Sunday After 1-plus-year Closure

THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE OREGON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE

Razor clamming on Clatsop County beaches will reopen on Sunday, Oct. 1 after a 16-month closure.

Razor clamming in this area has been closed since July 2016 due to high levels of biotoxins found in the clams and an annual closure to protect newly set young clams that runs from July 15-Sept. 30 each year. While other parts of the state’s coast have been open to razor clamming, Clatsop County beaches are the most popular spot and account for 90 percent of Oregon’s harvest.

AFTER BEING CLOSED FOR HARVEST FOR MORE THAN A YEAR, CLATSOP COUNTY BEACHES ARE REOPENING THIS COMING SUNDAY FOR DIGGING RAZOR CLAMS. (ODFW)

Oregon Dept. of Agriculture tests shellfish toxins twice per month, as tides permit, to determine if razor clams and other shellfish are safe to eat. Results from ODA’s two most recent tests (on Sept. 22 and Sept. 8) show clams are safe.

The last time Clatsop County’s season was open in summer 2016, razor clammers experienced a record year, with most reaching their daily bag limit of 15 in a short time. Clammers will find different conditions when they return on Oct. 1 as ODFW’s annual survey found significantly lower abundance of razor clams since surveys began in 2004.

“In 2016, abundance peaked and surveys estimated 16 million razor clams in the 18-mile stretch between the Columbia River south jetty and Tillamook Head,” says Matt Hunter, ODFW’s Shellfish Project Leader. “This year, the estimate is just 3 million clams in that area.”

“These low numbers are troubling, as they mean Clatsop beaches haven’t seen a significant recruitment event for two years,” continued Hunter.  “But this recruitment issue is not isolated to just Clatsop beaches. It’s being seen on the entire Oregon coast and for Washington beaches, too.”

Razor clam populations are very cyclical and the population appears to be in a low abundance period, following a very high abundance period in 2015-16. However, current clams are larger, averaging about 4 ½ inches, with only a few clams smaller than 4-inches found. Surveys showed clams distributed sporadically along the entire stretch of the beach.

“While razor clam numbers are lower this year, clams are quite large,” Hunter said. “To be successful, clammers should be diligent, choose the best low tides and actively ‘pound’ to get razors to show.”

AN ODFW CHART ILLUSTRATES RAZOR CLAM ABUNDANCE BETWEEN THE MOUTH OF THE COLUMBIA AND SEASIDE. (ODFW)

As always, the bag limit for razor clams is the first 15 dug, with no sorting or releasing allowed.

ODA tests for shellfish toxins twice per month, as tides permit, and closes seasons with ODFW when toxins reach an unsafe level. Clammers should always call the shellfish hotline (800-448-2474) or check the ODA website before harvesting clams.