July 12, 2012
ASTORIA – Razor clamming will close Sunday, July 15, on the Clatsop beaches for the annual conservation closure to protect newly-set young clams.
Since 1967 the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has closed the 18 miles of beaches in Clatsop County to razor clam digging, while young clams establish themselves on the beach during the summer.
“We want to ensure that the Clatsop beaches continue to be productive for razor clam harvesters,” said Matt Hunter, ODFW’s Shellfish and Phytoplankton Project Leader. “By not disturbing the young razor clams it increases the chance of good recruitment.”
The regulation closing Clatsop beaches has been in place since 1967. For many years the closure went from July 15 to Aug. 31. It was extended in 1997 to Sept. 31.
This period is a busy one for ODFW shellfish biologists who conduct razor clam stock assessments to determine the health of the population.
The Clatsop beaches are the most productive razor clam beaches in the state, accounting for more than 90 percent of the total harvest.
Digging for razor clams continues to be open on other state beaches. Harvesting bay clams is open as well. Mussel harvesting is currently closed from Tillamook Head south of Seaside to Haceta Head in Lane County due to elevated levels of paralytic shellfish toxins. For the latest shellfish safety information call the shellfish safety hotline before harvesting: 1-800-448-2474.