Razor clamming

Following the annual conservation closure, Clatsop beaches reopen to razor clamming Oct. 1 with good news: razor clam abundance is high and the clams are large. Razor clams this year average just under four inches with a tremendous amount of clams over four inches.

The winter of 2019-20 showed good survival rates of juveniles, contributing to this year’s high abundance and mature larger-sized razor clams. Juvenile recruitment was also high this year, so clammers can expect good numbers of one and two-year-old razor clams.

The most popular razor clamming area in Oregon, Clatsop beaches stretch 18 miles between the Columbia River south jetty and Tillamook Head. Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) encourages clammers to maintain social distancing of at least six feet from anyone who is not a member of the same household. Nonresidents may begin recreational clamming (and crabbing) again coastwide Wednesday, Oct. 7.

Each year since 1967, ODFW closes Clatsop beaches to razor clam harvest July 15 – Oct. 1. This conservation measure prevents disturbance of the young clams, increases chances of good survival rates, and helps ensure future harvest. During the closure, ODFW marine biologists conduct stock assessment surveys to determine population health and status.

Other good opportunities to harvest razor clams include Agate Beach, North Jetty, and South Beach in the Newport area along with Cannon Beach, Cape Meares and Yachats Beach.

Clammers should always checked for toxin-related closures before harvesting clams or crabs by calling the shellfish safety hotline 1-800-448-2472 or visit ODA’s Recreation Shellfish page. Closures are also noted on ODFW’s Recreation Report – Clamming and Crabbing Report.

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