SEACOR (pronounced “seeker”) is a permanent project of the shellfish program within the Marine Resources Program of ODFW.
SEACOR started in 2008 and was tasked with documenting: where recreationally important bay clam species are found, estimating the abundance of each species, and describing the best habitat for each species. Coos Bay was chosen as the first bay to be evaluated due to its large size and lack of recent shellfish survey information. You can find maps and information from our study in the results section.
During 2010 and 2011, the SEACOR research team will survey clam populations and estuarine habitats in Tillamook Bay. Tillamook Bay supports one of the most popular recreational clamming areas in Oregon. In addition, over 90 percent of the state’s commercial bay clam harvest comes from Tillamook Bay. Look for updates and preliminary results from Tillamook in Summer 2011.
SEACOR is funded by recreational shellfish license fees, meaning that clammers and crabbers are directly contributing to research on the resources they utilize. Information gathered by this project will inform biologists and educate managers about the status of the Coos Bay estuary, providing a baseline for monitoring future changes. In this way, the project upholds the mission of ODFW by protecting this important natural resource for future generations to enjoy the Oregon tradition of clamming.
SEACOR is currently focused on the four commonly harvested bay clam species. These are the gaper clam (empire or horse clam), butter clam (Martha Washington), cockle, and native littleneck (steamer) clam. We are targeting these species because they are the most sought after by recreational bay clammers. However, there are several other clam species found within the bay, such as softshells.
Within these webpages, we share with you some of the reasons why we conducted a bay clam and estuarine assessment, how we did it, and our findings.
Contact the SEACOR project via e-mail at: