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Re-opening of Oregon razor clamming on indefinite delay

Razor Clams harvesting still off limits.  No estimated time for resumption.  Still toxic.  Oregonian photo

Razor Clams harvesting still off limits. No estimated time for resumption. Still toxic. Oregonian photo

Razor clamming at Oregon’s popular and productive Clatsop County beaches will not open Oct. 1 as scheduled.

Razor clamming along the entire Oregon coast has been closed since May 14 due to elevated levels of domoic acid in the clams. The most recent test results released Friday, show levels too high for the season to open next Thursday, said Matt Hunter, ODFW shellfish biologist.

Hunter said Oregon beaches will re-open to razor clamming only after two consecutive samples show domoic acid is below the alert level. Exactly when that might happen is impossible to predict because the clams are very slow to eliminate the toxin.

“The only way for razor clams to reduce the level of domoic acid is through spawning or growth,” Hunter said. “We saw a big reduction in domoic acid levels after spawning in June, but we haven’t seen much growth in adult clams since then that would bring the levels down even more.”

While razor clamming will remain closed for the entire Oregon Coast, the harvest of bay clams and mussels is now open on all Oregon beaches. The harvest of Dungeness crab also remains open in Oregon. Harvesters can visit the ODA shellfish closures webpage for the latest closure information.

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