OREGON'S RAZOR CLAMS

A 6 7/8 inch razor clam dug from Agate Beach by my friend and lifelong razor clam digger, Bill Morris (RIP)

Digging Razor Clams on Clatsop Spit Beaches: for the 2014 - 2015 will reopen on 10/01/2014. The end of the 2014 saw good numbers of large razor clams to carry over to the 2014 - 2015 season at Columbia Beach at Fort Stevens.

A good population of carry over clams should be available for harvest at Fort Stevens during the low tides exceeding a minus 1.0 foot. Click HERE to view the tidal projections at the North Jetty of the lower Columbia River.

Large hold over razor clams dominated the take from Columbia Beach at Fort Stevens during the 2014 season. The razor clams in the photo were dug from the beach near the wreck of the Peter Iredale. 6/14/2014

On 11/18 ODFW reports. This year’s Clatsop beaches stock assessment survey found the highest number of razor clams since ODFW began conducting the surveys in 2004. About 16 million razor clams inhabit the 18-mile stretch of beach located between the Columbia River south jetty and Tillamook Head. This estimate of clam abundance is significantly greater than the previous peak of 9 million clams in 2005. The average size of clams was a little over 2 ½ inches, and only a few larger than 4-inches were found. Razor clams were distributed fairly evenly along the entire stretch of beach.

Due to the large number of small razor clams on the beach, diggers should be highly selective about which shows they pursue. Harvesters are reminded they must retain the first 15 clams regardless of size or condition.

During the fall and winter months, low tide series are in the evening so harvesters should plan ahead. Razor clam harvesters should pay close attention to the surf forecasts and be on the beach one to two hours before low tide. If the forecast calls for combined seas over 8 or 10 feet, razor clamming can be very difficult because the clams tend to show much less in those conditions.

On 11/15 Diane from Bud's Campground reports digger are doing the best at Sunset Beach two hours prior to low tide.

Oregon's Razor Clams describes the methods to dig razor clams from the wet and dry sand. The clams in the photo were dug at Fort Stevens using the method recommended in Oregon's Razor Clams using our aluminum razor clam shovel with a 12 blade.

On 10/17/13 Bill from Bud's Campground reports: "razor clam digging picked up from where it left off at the end of last season. Limits were common".

The annual conservation closure of razor clams for the 2013 - 2014 season on Clatsop Spit beaches began on 07/15 and runs through 09/30.

Overall, clam digging for razor clams on along the beaches associated with Clatsop Spit has been excellent during the 2013 - 2014 season. However rough surf conditions played a role in keeping the harvest success down during some low tides.

We expect good numbers of razor clams to be taken when the season reopens on 10/01/14 for the 2014 - 2015 season on Clatsop Spit beaches.

The best clam digging this past year is from the beach associated with Fort Stevens and at the Cove at southern end of Seaside. Remember dig safe. All the information for digging razor clams on the Oregon coast is posted here.

We recommend staying at Bud's Campground Of all the R/V Parks along Hwy 101 in Seaside, Bud's Campground is the best. Bud's is conveniently located 3 miles north of Seaside on the west side of Hwy 101. Bud's Campground is the only R/V Park that carries a complete line of razor clams digging equipment. Call Bud's at: 1-800-730-6855. Bill and Shirley will make your stay a pleasant one.

Before you harvest shellfish call the shellfish hotline!!! The Oregon Department of Agriculture's shellfish safety hotline is toll free. The ODA's Shellfish Hotline provides the most current information regarding shellfish safety closures. The ODFW or the ODA Websites may not be updated as quickly as the shellfish safety hotline. Please call the shellfish safety hotline before harvesting: 1-800-448-2474.

Jerry Lynch wrote, "This is Jerry Lynch, one of your Netarts gaper clam students from last year.  I wanted to show you the results of my solo adventure in Seaside Beach March 07. The photo is attached. Thanks for your instruction and encouragement. The day Jerry dug the razor clams he made an early morning drift on the Wilson River for steelhead. The fish were not biting and it was such a nice day that he decided to make the drive to Seaside and dig some clams." Nice going Jerry!

Association Member Jerry Lynch is at it again. The digging at Seaside is Hot!

At Fort Stevens razor clam diggers Jerry and his friend John dug limits of razor clams near the area south of the wreck of the Peter Iredale. Jerry reported, "We are returning to 1/4 mile south of the entrance at the Peter Iredale. The Razors are 5-5.5 inches and necking like crazy. -Jerry". During the next series of low tides Jerry reported, "John and I got two nice limits of razors at the Peter Iredale shipwreck site yesterday a.m. The clams there are HUGE. Take care my friend, Jerry."

Jerry and his friend John have been busy digging limits at the Cove in Seaside. Digging at the Cove is a lot closer to HWY 26 that the half an hour through Seaside and Gearhart to Fort Stevens.

For a change of pace clam diggers Jerry Lynch and John Lim were going to dig gaper clams in Netarts Bay but the lure of yesterday's success was too great and they both dug limits of mostly 3 and 4 year old razor clams at the Cove at Seaside. On the previous day, clam digger Jerry Lynch and John Lim dug razor clams from the Cove at Seaside. Jerry dug a limit while John who is 75 only dug 9 clams. Most of the clams were 2 year old clams.

Association member Casey writes:

Hi Bill,

We had a great time at seaside and got our limits of razors! It was our first time digging razors so we cracked some shells and got some small ones but we kept them all. We fried them up and they were delicious. I noticed that they have a similar flavor to abalone (I used to be a diver in Ca). Great fun and we can't wait till next time.

I've included some pics of my wife Sonja and our limits and my nephew Brandon and his small one. Casey Brisbin

I've included some pics of my wife Sonja and our limits and my nephew Brandon and his small one. Casey Brisbin.

TIDAL SURGE: Razor clam digging is often unproductive during periods of heavy tidal surge. I stay home if the offshore long ocean swells exceed 6.0 feet or when the combination of long ocean swells and wind waves exceed 8 feet in height. The height and interval of the long ocean swells is determining factor if I dig razor clams. If the long ocean swells are less than 8 feet at intervals greater than 10 plus second without much in the way of wind waves I go. If the long ocean swell are less than 8 feet and building I stay home. The ODFW website recommends the height of 10 feet as the determining factor for digging razor clams. Safety is determining factor when digging razor clams or bay clams. There are guidelines diggers should follow when digging clams and raising the bar to 10 feet is not one of them. We recommend digging bay clams during periods of moderate to heavy surf. Remember, clam digging is most productive during periods of Spring tides and crabbing is most productive during periods of Neap tides.

Internet Links of Interest for the Columbia River Estuary and Clatsop Spit

BAR CROSSING: Click HERE to see the navigation hazards crossing the Columbia River Bay or Click HERE to see the Chartlette of the Lower Columbia River Estuary.

Webcams: Click on the following link to the Coast Guard Jettycam real time views of the bar crossing of Oregon's Bays and follow the instructions.

Click on Seaside Webcams for view of the beach at the Lanai or the Seaside Aquarium.

Tidal Projections: Tides are the rise and fall of the sea level caused by the gravitational pull of the moon and the sun. Click on the current moon icon to follow the phase of the moon.

CURRENT MOON

Click on NOAA Tides and Currents to link to the tide tables for the Oregon Coast; then scroll down and click on the location of interest.

Plan for future clam digging and/or crabbing adventures on Clatsop Spit and the Lower Columbia River Estuary by clicking on the tidal projections at the N Jetty of the Columbia River Estuary and scroll down the desired month for 2014.

Click on 2014 to view the NOAA tidal projections for your area of interest or view the tidal projections for Seaside at the 12th Ave Bridge.

Click on National Buoy Data Center to view the observations from buoys off the Oregon Coast.

Click on Stonewall Banks to view buoy reports for the long ocean sells at the Stonewall Bank Buoy.

We provide a link to Oregon Surf Check to view the height and interval of the long ocean swells.

WEATHER FORECAST: Click on the NOAA Website Marine Digital Point Forecast Matrix Interface to view a detailed weather and surf forecast for the Oregon Coast. Position the cursor over the location of interest on the Oregon Coast and left click.

Click on NOAA Regional Weather Forecast to view the 7 day weather forecast for your area of interest. Click on the pink colored portion of the map for your area of interest. Click on the area of the map between the coastline and the blue line defining the weather forecast 10 miles to sea. Move the cursor over your area of interest and click for a detailed 7 day weather forecast.

Click HERE to view a detailed hourly forecast for weather, wind and surf conditions on the northern Oregon Coast.

Click HERE to view the Marine Forecast for the northern Oregon Coast.

Click HERE for the ten day weather forecast for Astoria.

Click HERE for the 10 day weather forecast for Seaside.

Razor Clam Forecast for Agate Beach, the North and South Jetties and the beaches from Waldport to Yachats. Not much improvement has occurred digging razor clams from the North Jetty this year, however digging productivity has improved for the South Jetty and at Agate beach so far season with some limits being taken. Limits of razor clams were taken from Ona Beach north of Ona Beach State Park. Digging productivity comes down to the erosion of beach sand due to La Nina and the annual migrations of beach sand. We will have to wait and watch to see if digging productivity improves.

Plan for future clam digging and or crabbing adventures by clicking on the tidal projections at the Bar of Yaquina Bay and scroll down the desired month for 2014.

Click HERE to view the NOAA tidal projections for Bar at the mouth of Yaquina Bay at South Beach.

Digging for razor clams is more usually more productive on the front end of the series of low tides rather than the back side of the tidal series.

The CDAO had the pleasure of assisting Greg Harlow instruct the Toledo Outdoor School kids to dig razor clam at South Beach during a minus 1.8 foot tide. The rough surf conditions kept the clams from showing. I found one razor clam necking in about a foot of water and when I attempted to dig it the surf rolled me over. Greg found a razor clam necking and dug it. The kids gathered around Greg to get a good look at his prize. The kids returned to looking with renewed interest and shortly thereafter one young man dug his first razor clam.

Razor clam digging from Driftwood Beach just north of the entrance to Alsea Bay at Waldport to Yachats: Plan for future clam digging and or crabbing adventures by clicking on the tidal projections at Waldport for Alsea Bay and scroll down the desired month for 2014. Click HERE to view the NOAA tidal projections for Waldport on Alsea Bay.

A friend picking mussels spoke to two razor clam diggers who had dug 2 limits of razor clam from the beach south of Quail Street.

Razor Clams from Baker Beach above Florence to Southern Oregon: At one time the digging for razor clams at Heceta Beach was considered the most productive for any of the beaches located south of Tillamook Head. However, over the last several years digging productivity has been poor; but recently, clam digging productivity has improved at Heceta beach. We have no information about digging productivity at Baker beach

Plan for future clam digging and or crabbing adventures by clicking on the tidal projections for the bar at the Entrance to the Siuslaw River and scroll down the desired month for 2014.

Click on Entrance at the bar to the Siuslaw River to view the NOAA tidal projections.

Baker Beach: To view the trail from Hwy 101 to north end Baker Beach click on Heceta and Baker Beach Razor Clams. A razor clam digger reports taking some large sized razor clams at Heceta Beach. At one time excluding the Clatsop Spit Beaches the digging of razor clams at Heceta Beach was considered the best place to dig razor clams in Oregon ahead of Agate Beach and Meyers Beach. There are some parking permit requirements to park at the beaches north of the North Jetty of the Siuslaw River. Parking is free at the North Jetty. A Lane County parking permit is required to park at the end Heceta Beach Road. There is a fee to park at the Sutton Lake Recreational area on the west side of Hwy 101 just north of Florence except for holders of the Golden Eagle pass program. I do not know if a parking permit of any kind is required at Baker Beach via the Bake Beach Rd. Baker Beach Rd. is the northern most access road to the beaches located north of the North Jetty except for the trail that leads to Baker Beach from the turnout overlooking the beach from Hwy 101.

North Jetty, Umpqua River to Sparrow Park Rd: No information available.

Coos Bay Area Razor Clams: no information from the North Spit, however limits have been consistant from inside Coos Bay from the sandy beach on the north shore just inside of the entrance to Coos Bay. Digging from Bastendorff Beach was good early on but the clams were dug out rather rapidly.

Bastendorff Beach Razor Clams: Bastendorff Beach located between Coos Bay and Yoakum Point is listed by ODFW as a razor clam location. 2014, Razor clams are once again being dug from Bastendorff Beach but the digging productivity is inconsistent at best because the available clams were rapidly harvested.

Charleston sand spit. A limited number of razor clams are dug from the sandy beach from the Charleston Sand Spit that separates the Charleson Boat Basin from the jetty channel. Plan for future clam digging and or crabbing adventures by clicking on the Tidal Projections for Charleston near the entrance to Coos Bay and scroll down the desired month for 2014.

Click HERE to view the NOAA tidal projections for Charleston near the entrance to Coos Bay.

Whiskey Run Beach Razor Clams: Whiskey Run Beach off of Seven Devils Road allows beach access by motor vehicles and is listed by ODFW as a location to dig for razor clams but digging productivity was poor at best for the 2014 season.

Face Rock, Bandon: On 10/13 Diane from Bandon Bait reports: razor clam diggers did well at Face Rock last spring and summer.

Meyers Beach: Click HERE to view the location of the most productivity razor clam digging beaches south of Seaside. Clam digger Sparkypaul shares his father's experience at Meyers Beach with us. "My Father was stationed @gold beach in the coast guard ww2 era and he dug a lot of clams @ meyers beach at that time. the only time he went back was during the 60's and he said he only got 8 or 9 clams but they were huge. I've always wanted to get over there on a good set of tides and see how it is now.......one of these days!!!!! " Thanks Sparkypaul. Do your part and share you clam digging and crabbing experiences with us. Bill

Click on the following link to view the tidal projections for the mouth of the Rogue River.

WEATHER FORECAST: Click the following link to view the local weather forecast for Brookings.

Click on the Marine Forecast from Florence to Cape Blanco to view the marine forecast featuring Small Craft Warning.

Click the following link to view the Marine Forecast for the NWS Medford Zone: Coastal waters from Cape Blanco OR to Pt. St. George CA out 10 nm (PZZ356).

The following NOAA link for detailed information for the Oregon Coast is a great source for planning your razor clam digging adventures. Click on the following link to see a detailed hourly forecast for weather and surf conditions on the southern Oregon Coast.

NOAA Coastal Forecast for Curry County

LONG OCEAN SWELLS: Click on to view the Oregon Surf Report. Use the Stonewall Bank buoy or the St Georges buoy in place of the out of service Port Orford buoy to view the height of the long ocean swells in Southern Oregon Beaches. Use the Port Orford buoy station 46015. to view the height of the long ocean swells. National Buoy Data Center observation reports for buoys off the Oregon Coast. Click on National Buoy Data Center to view the observations from buoys off the Oregon Coast.

Email us with any suggestion how we can improve the information we provide at crabbinginfo@yahoo.com

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