The annual summer conservation closure for razor clams begins Wednesday, July 15, and runs through Sept. 30 on Clatsop beaches (from Tillamook Head in Seaside to the mouth of the Columbia River.)
Clatsop beaches account for more than 90 percent of the total razor clam harvest in Oregon. This regulation has been in place since 1967 and closes all razor clam harvesting on the 18 miles of beach north of Tillamook Head. By protecting newly set young clams from harvesters, the closure gives young clams a chance to establish themselves on the beach during summer.
ODFW staff assess razor clam stocks during the closure period. Last year, assessments showed the third highest abundance since the assessments began in 2004.
The 2020 season has been very productive with most harvesters obtaining their limits with a mix of large and medium sized clams. Anecdotal evidence suggests that another juvenile recruitment event occurred which will be quantified by the assessments and could bode well for the next harvest season.
“This annual closure prevents disturbing the young razor clams, increasing the chance of good recruitment for future razor clam harvesting,” said Matt Hunter, ODFW’s Shellfish and Phytoplankton Project Leader. “It ensures Clatsop beaches continue to provide a great opportunity for razor clam harvesters, and we thank everyone for respecting this annual closure.”
Razor clam harvesting continues to be open on other state beaches though a few closures are in effect due to toxin levels (currently, closed from Cape Arago to the California border). The best opportunities outside Clatsop beaches are in the Newport area, with the most consistent producers being Agate Beach, North Jetty, and South Beach. Other beaches that can produce razor clams include Cannon Beach, Cape Meares, and Yachats Beach.
Bay clam harvesting is currently open coast-wide.
All recreational clamming remains closed to nonresidents due to COVID-19 precautions.
Always check for toxin-related closures before harvesting clams or crabs by calling the shellfish safety hotline 1-800-448-2472. Closures are also noted on ODA’S Recreation Shellfish page and on ODFW’s Recreation Report – Clamming and Crabbing Report.