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SEACOR - Findings, Tillamook

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The information we collected during the shellfish and estuarine assessment of Tillamook Bay enabled us to map the location of clams and features of their surrounding environment. The maps presented on this webpage display where we found clams of each species and at what densities. Overall, we found that region and habitat affect the distribution and number of the four clam species we investigated.

Clamming maps of Tillamook Bay


Areas sampled in Tillamook Bay by SEACOR

DAM sampling locations

During the survey, the primary focus was on major clamming flats in the north part of the bay. We sampled other intertidal flats during the study, but most of the recreationally important clams were found in these three regions:

    • Garibaldi Flat
    • Middle Flat
    • Bay Ocean Flat

Tillamook DAM sampling locations (jpg)

DAM sample locations

Butter Clams

In other bays such as Coos Bay, butters can be found on high sandy bars but in Tillamook Bay, butter clams were rarely found in similar habitats on Middle Flat or Bay Ocean Flat.

Butter clams were most abundant in the rocky, cobble beaches of Garibaldi Flat.

Tillamook butter clam DAM sampling locations (pdf)

Butter Clams

Cockle Clams

Cockle clams were found on all of the major clamming flats in Tillamook Bay but were most common on Garibaldi Flat. However, cockles on this flat were smaller than ones accessible only by boat on Middle Flat or Bay Ocean Flat.

Cockle clams are found in middle to low intertidal zones in all habitat types (rocky, sandy, and in eelgrass (Zostera marina)) on the mudflats.

Tillamook cockle clam DAM sampling locations (pdf)

Cockle Clams

Gaper Clams

Gaper clams were usually found in the low intertidal areas with sandy-mud sediment on Middle Flat and Bay Ocean, but also in rocky areas like Garibaldi Flat.

The largest gaper clam populations in Tillamook Bay were found on the Bay Ocean Flatlat where they were associated with eelgrass beds.

Gaper clams were common but smaller on Garibaldi Flat relative to those sampled on Middle Flat and Bay Ocean Flat.

Tillamook gaper clam DAM sampling locations (pdf)


Native Littleneck Clams

In Tillamook Bay, native littleneck clams were found almost exclusively in the rocky areas of Garibaldi Flat and at Hobsonville Point south of the mouth of the Miami River.

In other estuaries, native littlenecks are found in sand-mud or sand-gravel sediments but in Tillamook Bay are found in rocky, cobble beaches.

Tillamook native littleneck clam DAM sampling locations (pdf)

Native Llittleneck

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