Thursday, May 14, 2009

Oregon Clams

Living a mile from the beach is a luxury in itself,as you can fish,clam dig,hunt glass fishing balls or just watch the waves move.

I lived in a little town in the 70s called Seaside,Oregon for four years and enjoyed every minute of it.

There are 17 miles of beach to walk on here from Seaside to Astoria,with lots of fishing and razor clamming.

You clam dig during low tide,so it could be daylight or noon when you started.You walk along the sand and watch for a bubble to appear with a hole in the sand,about the size of a nickle,and start digging on the ocean side of the hole.If you are using a clam shovel,you will have to dig real fast or the clam will be gone.

If you use a clam tube,you place the tube over the hole and push the tube down a good foot,put your finger over the air hole in the top and pull the tube out of the sand.Dump it and hope you have a clam.

The abundance of razor clams along the Oregon coast varies greatly due to ocean conditions,weather and disease.Because of the recent decline in the population of razor clams south of Tillamook Head we recommend digging for clams on Clatsop spit beachs.

90% of Oregon's razor clam digging occurs here.
Don’t forget a shovel, bucket (required for each clammer), and the shellfish license; clamming is not free anymore. For Oregon residents 14 and older it’s $6.50 per calendar year. For non-residents it’s $16.50 per calendar year, or for a three-day license it’s $9. Check with Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) for regulations and limits (541-867-4741; To find out if any areas are unsafe for clamming, check the Shellfish Information Line (800-448-2474).
Limits in 2006 were softshell (mud) clams 36, razors 15, gapers 12, and other bay clams—butter, littleneck, and cockle—20 (of which 12 may be gapers).Clam digging is fun for the whole family,so go get em.

The Clatsop spit beachs,Del Ray beach,Sunset beach,Columbia beach and Clatsop spit are the most productive clam digging areas in the pacific north.Thousands of clammers come here to try their hand at razor clam digging.


So if you get a chance to visit Seaside ,Oregon or any coastal community along the sea,try your luck at clam digging,you will enjoy the experience.

There are two naturally occurring poisons that can build in razor clams - and other shellfish:

Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning - also known as “red tide” - happens when shellfish take in a lot of algae that has a toxin that is bad for humans. PSP is often linked to warm conditions and huge algae blooms. PSP is not usually a concern in cold Alaskan and Pacific Northwest waters, but scientists still test razor clams for the toxin.
Domoic Acid is the other worry before the beaches open for a razor clam dig. Domoic Acid is a natural ocean poison that clams, which feed on material in the water, absorb in their body tissues - especially fat.
High levels of Domoic Acid - starting at about 20 parts per million - can make people sick.

Take a boat out in the ocean and salmon fish,or go up the Columbia river and fish for sturgeon.

On the other side of the highway you could hunt deer and elk or grouse.Fish in the rivers or find a lake to hike into and spend the day.

.Along the many streams in seaside you can take a bucket and pick wild blackberrys for canning also.There are many thousands of wild blackberry patches.And they are real thorny also

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