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SEACOR - Findings, Alsea Bay

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The information we collected during the shellfish and estuarine assessment in 2015 enabled us to map the location, density, and associated habitat features of bay clams in Alsea Bay. The two types of maps presented on this webpage display where we found clams during our survey.

Clamming Maps

The first type of map is the Clamming Maps of Alsea Bay. These maps present the bay clam densities in recreationally important clamming areas.  The bay clam species found include cockle, gaper, softshell, and purple varnish clams.

SEACOR Research Result Maps

The second type of map is the SEACOR Research Result Maps which focus on the clam densities in a specific region of the bay. These maps show SEACOR study results for each part of the bay.

Recreationally important clamming areas sampled during the study

Bayshore Beach

Bayshore beach is a narrow band that starts near the southern end of the Bayshore neighborhood, goes northeast under the Waldport bridge and stops at the western edge of North Flat. This area includes both sandy and cobble/gravel beaches, eelgrass beds, burrowing shrimp beds, bedrock, and some muddy areas. All four bay clams were found in this study area, including the only intertidal gaper clams.


Waldport Bridge Flat

This large, mostly continuous flat expands west and east of the Alsea Bay Bridge and is accessible from multiple places in town. This flat includes mobile sandy areas, burrowing shrimp beds, and was the dominant area for purple varnish clams.

Waldport Bridge Flat Clam Densities (pdf)

Waldport Bridge Flat

Seawall Beach

Seawall Beach is another narrow band that stretches along the western edge of town from the Alsea Bay Bridge towards the west. This area is mostly sandy with some burrowing shrimp and bedrock areas. Fewer clams were found on this beach than the other areas surveyed. Seawall Beach is popular with the salmon fishers in the fall.

Seawall Cockle Clam Densities (pdf)

Seawall Purple Varnish Clam Densities (pdf)

Seawall Beach

North Flat

North Flat is only accessible by boat. This area is mainly sandy, has eelgrass beds, and lots of purple varnish clams and burrowing shrimp. The commercial shrimpers frequently harvest in this area.


Subtidal Channels

The subtidal channels are areas of the bay that remain filled with water even at low tide.  Often these areas are important regions to study when trying to understand clam densities of the whole bay system. Three of the four bay clam species were found in the subtidal with gapers and cockles most common west of the bridge and purple varnish clams further up bay by North Flat.

Subtidal Channels Cockle Clam Densities (pdfs)

Subtidal Channels Gaper Clam Densities (pdfs)

Subtidal Channels Purple Varnish Clam Densities (pdfs)

Subtidal Channels

Overall, we found that region and habitat affect the distribution and number of the species we investigated.

Directions to Alsea Bay clamming access points (pdf)

Where to Harvest Bay Clams: Alsea, 11x17 Brochure (pdf):
Brochure 1 Brochure 2 Brochure 3 Brochure 4 Brochure 5
Page 1 (pdf) Page 2 (pdf) Page 3 (pdf) Page 4 (pdf) Page 5 (pdf)

Contact the SEACOR project via e-mail at:


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