NEWPORT – More than four decades after the first conservation closure, some clam diggers still show up in late July to dig razor clams on the Clatsop beaches.
Since 1967 the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife close the 18 miles of beaches in Clatsop County to razor clam digging on July 15. The closure is to protect newly-set young clams that are establishing themselves on the beach during this time of the year.
“It has been a consistent problem in past years and this year it begins in the middle of a minus tide series,” said Matthew Hunter, ODFW’s Shellfish and Phytoplankton Project Leader. “It’s been in place long enough so there is no reason anyone should claim ignorance.”
Other beaches in the state remain open for razor clams during the closure, but the Clatsop beaches are the most productive razor clam beaches in the state, accounting for more than 90 percent of the total harvest.
Clam diggers can also harvest bay clams, which are plentiful in most Oregon bays and estuaries.
This period is a busy one for ODFW shellfish biologists who conduct razor clam stock assessments to determine the health of the population.