Razor clamming will close Monday on Clatsop County 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 north of Tillamook Head 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.”
During the razor clamming harvest closure, ODFW will conduct stock assessments to determine the health of the population, as they have done since 2004 on the Clatsop beaches.
This year the Clatsop beaches, had good harvest rates and unusually large clams. The 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. Bay clam and mussel harvesting is open coast-wide as well. For the latest shellfish safety information call the shellfish safety hotline before harvesting at 800-448-2474.
This story originally appeared in Daily Astorian.