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

Digging Razor Clams on Clatsop Spit Beaches: for the 2016 - 2017 season did not open on 10/01/2016 because of elevated levels of Domoic acid. The end of the 2016 saw good numbers of large razor clams to carry over to the 2016 - 2017 season on the beaches associated with Clatsop Spit. It will will be difficult if razor clam digging productivity will be as good as it was for the 2015 - 2016 season. The number of razor clams at the begining of 2015 was 16 million clams.

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 2015 season. Hopfully the number of hold over clams available in 2016 will be a numerous. The razor clams in the photo were dug from the beach near the wreck of the Peter Iredale. 6/14/2014

Click on the ODFW Weekly Recreational Marine Report for information digging razor clams on Clatsop Spit.

Information Report 2000-06. Link, T. 2000. History and status of Oregon's Pacific razor clam resource.

On 06/05 Bell Buoy Seafood's report clam diggers are taking limits of razor clams with the most successful digging occurring higher in the tidal zone. Diggers are taking razor clams from a positive tide.

On 05/20 all of the beaches associated with Clatsop Spit are producing razor clam. The clams are being taken high in the tidal zone from a half a foot positive tide. The best clams are being taken from the beach associated with Camp Rilea and the beach at the foot of Broadway in Seaside. Smaller clams are located higher in the tidal with the largest clams being taken during the lowest tides. Razor clams seem to show better during the first few day of the tidal cycle as the tides get lower with each successive tide. Casual diggers should target beaches where the commercial diggers are working and taking large razor clams.

In March of last year the ODFW reported. 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.

Last spring, my friend Darren a first time clam digger, following my advice scored 11 clams during a minus 0.23 tide at Gearhart.

HOW TO DIG OREGON'S RAZOR CLAMS

The Razor Clam chapter, the first chapter of Oregon's Clams is the definitive guide on how and where to dig for razor clams on the Oregon Coast. The razor clam chapter is full of photographs, illustrations and easy to follow instructions that will have you digging razor clams on your first trip out on Clatsop Spit beaches. Even though our books are written for adults launch a child on a lifelong adventure digging razor clams by giving them one of our books.

The razor clam chapter of Oregon's Clams discloses all of the beach locations where razor clams are commonly found along the Oregon Coast.

The photo array of the razor clam shows displays how to identify razor clams in the wet or dry sand.

The razor clam chapter of Oregon's Clams describes the methods recommended by ODFW to dig razor clams from the wet sand or dry sand. The clams in the photo were dug at Fort Stevens using the method recommended by the ODFW to dig Razor Clams. My friends and I have use this digging method to dig razor clams from the wet and dry sand for many years. Bill

The narrative with accompanying photo array describes the preferred method used for cleaning razor clams, using a knife or view the video clip here demonstrating how to clean razor clams using a hot water bath.

See the new and exciting additions to our family recipes for our critically acclaimed Oregon's Clam Chowder and our award winning Stuffed Clams. We are so very proud of a young lady who entered our recipe for Stuffed Clams and won the Grand Prize at the Clackmas County Fair.

Our family's favorite clam recipes are easily prepared entrees that your family will love. Marney Reed from Port Orford writes, "Hi Bill, Just wanted you to know we cooked your Clam Chowder recipe yesterday for company. It was the best chowder we've ever had - definitely restaurant quality!"

The book includes complete instructions for harvesting and preparing Oregon's other clams, Oregon's Bay Clams and mussels.

Personalize your copy of Oregon's Clams with an autograph by the author by entering your name or the name of the person you are giving the book to in the appropriate box on the payment page.

Get a head start digging razor clams by ordering our book, Oregon's Clams, by clicking HERE.

The abundance of razor clams along the Oregon Coast varies greatly and dramatically due to ocean conditions, the erosion of beach sand due to El Niño and La Niña events, the annual movement of beach sand to and from the ocean and disease, but because of the decline in the population of razor clams south of Tillamook Head we recommend digging razor clams on the beaches associated with Clatsop Spit or with the beaches associated with Meyers Beach in Southern Oregon.

The Clatsop Spit Beaches, "Seaside, Gearhart, Del Rey Beach, Sunset Beach, Columbia Beach and Clatsop Spit" are one of the most productive beach areas for digging razor clams in the Pacific Northwest. Each year tens of thousands clam digging enthusiast visit area beaches to dig razor clams. ODFW claims that ninety five percent of Oregon's razor clam digging occurs there, but I believe the percentage is much higher. This year's (2016) population assessment by ODFW estimates the number of razor clams on Clatsop Spit beaches to be approximately sixteen million. The Clatsop Spit beaches are the ideal place for those new to digging razor clam to learn how to dig razor clams.

It was thrilling to read the comment posted on facebook by clam digger, Steven Schwindt, "I got started digging clams a few months ago. I bought William's Oregon's Razor Clams and it is big help to me. The book goes with me every time we go clamming."

Get a head start digging razor clams by ordering our book Oregon's Clams by clicking HERE.

CLICK ON YOUR BOOK OF CHOICE.

The information contained in Oregon's Clams will make you a better clam digger. The adventure begins with the narrative in the first chapter describing in detail how to dig razor clams, clean clams, cook clams and ends when you take your first limit of clams home.

The information in Oregon's Crabs describes the movement of Dungeness crabs into Oregon's Bays. The information reveals the most efficient methods to take crabs, kill crabs and shake crabs increasing the amount of crab meat harvested while shortening the time it takes to pick crabs.

Oregon's Clams: contains all the information for taking Oregon's Razor Clams or Bay Clams in Oregon's Coastal Waters; plus our award winning recipes. Click HERE to order the new 128 page color edition of Oregon Clams for $16.00 and $3.55 the Post Office charges to mail the book.

FREE CLAM DIGGING and CRAB CLINIC EVENTS

For those of you who desire hands on experience digging clams get a head start by attending our FREE Clam Digging, and Crabbing Classes.

Our FREE Clam Digging Classes and FREE Crabbing Classes are the ideal way to introduce kids of all ages to the wonders of digging clams and taking crabs.

Spring and summer are a busy time of year; so, if you do not the time to participate in our FREE Clam Digging and Crabbing Classes purchase our books, Oregon's Clams and Oregon's Crabs. The information in our books will reveal everything you need to know to successfully dig clams or take crabs from Oregon's coastal waters.

CLAM DIGGING EQUIPMENT

Successful clam digging and crabbing begins with the equipment your purchase. Our standard razor clam shovel is 56 inches in length with an 11 inch blade. They are light weight and will not wear you out digging for razor clams or bay clams.

Shown above with the razor clams we dug at the Cove in Seaside, Our standard razor clam shovel the best of inexpensive clam shovels on the market today at $34.75. The overall length of our standard razor clam shovel is 56 inches with an 11 inch blade.  Our lightweight standard razor clam shovel is built for speed. A lightweight razor clam shovel has advantages over the heavier stainless steel shovels when digging razor clams or bay clams. The thin tempered steel blade penetrates the sand quickly and efficently without tiring the digger. The shovel is manufactured with a full length handle unavailable at retail outlets and an 11 inch tempered steel blade offset at the proper angle to take advantage on the method recommended by ODFW to dig razor clams from the wet sand. Unlike stainsteel shovels our standard razor clam shovels are so light they won't leave you arm weary after a day's pounding and digging razor clams. When you wear out one of our standard clam shovels buy another and dig more clams. Click HERE to purchase our standard razor clam shovel or for those of you new to digging razor clams purchase our Begininer's Special.

We use the clam shovels we sell to dig both razor clams and bay clams. Our standard razor clam shovel is manufactured by Willapa Marine with a full length handle unavailable at retail outlets and an 11 inch blade offset at the proper angle to take advantage on the method recommended by ODFW to dig razor clams from the wet sand.

--------------Standard 11" blade----------

Click HERE to purchase our standard razor clam digging shovel $34.75 plus freight or take advantage of the razor clam beginners special.

The Razor Clam Beginners Special as shown below. Purchase our long handled razor clam shovel and a copy of Oregon's Clams as shown below for $49.75 and the razor clam net clam or green net bay clam bag is FREE. That is a savings of $7.00 per order. Click HERE to order the Razor Clam Special for $49.75.

Our razor clam bag shown above is made using fine mesh with a draw string and button to keep your razor clams safe and secure. The 9 x 24 inch dimension is large enough to hold a limit of 15 largest razor clams or bay clams. Click HERE to purchase the razor clam bag for $6.00 plus $2.95 shipping and handling for the first razor clam bag ordered only; so order several. The cost of the green net bay clam bag is a dollar more.

After much consideration about which type of Clam Gun to recommend we have decided the best course of action was to go simple and recommend the plastic Clam Gun by by H20sports. Why spend a lot of money on expensive clam guns when you can spend less for the best before deciding which high end clam gun to buy. Click HERE to purchase the clam gun for $15.95.

CLAM WATCH

Click on the forum for Crabbing and Clam Digging to view our new Crabbing and Clam Digging Forum. All postings to the Forums are subject to approval.

Discover the adventure of visiting the Oregon Coast with Oregon's Mile by Mile visitor's guide designed for the use of recreational enthusiasts who enjoy digging clams, crabbing and fishing. We encourge you to participate by sharing your clam digging, crabbing and fishing experiences with us at crabbinginfo@yahoo.com. Thanks Bill

OREGON'S FISHING INFORMATION for all the fish species common to Oregon's Coastal Waters click on

www.oregonfishinginfo.com

Share photographs and accounts of your fishing, crabbing and clam digging adventures with us. We will post the photos to our photo album and share you tips and suggestions with other anglers. Remember to take only enough clams, crabs and fish to fulfill your immediate needs. Thanks, Bill.

Outdoor Publications from the pen of Pete Heley!

If you are in to fishing then, Pete Heley's books about freshwater fishing will get you going. Bill

We sell and endorse the products manufactured by Willapa Marine

OREGON'S TIDAL PROJECTIONS FOR AREAS OF INTEREST

Clam Watch tidal projections from the WWW Tbone Tide and Current Predictor website. Click on your area of interest to view the tidal projections mostly from March 2016 through March 2017 and in some 2018.

Tidal Projections Columbia River.

Tidal Projections Seaside.

Tidal Projections Nehalem Bay.

Tidal Projections Tillamook Bay.

Tidal Projections Netarts Bay.

Tidal Projections Nestucca Bay.

*Tidal Projections Cascade Head Salmon River Estuary.

Tidal Projections Siletz Bay.

Tidal Projections Yaquina Bay.

Tidal Projections Alsea Bay.

Tidal Projections Siuslaw River Estuary.

Tidal Projections Winchester.

Tidal Projections Gardiner

Tidal Projections Coos Bay.

Tidal Projections Coquille River Estuary.

Tidal Projections Rogue River Estuary.

Clam Digging Crabbing Ethics

Oregon's clams and crabs are finite resources that must be managed accordingly. Recent events demonstrate more than ever the importance of clam digging and crabbing ethics. We cannot rely on the ODFW for guidance. It is our responsibility to our part.

The CDAO support the goals and objectives of the Razor Clam Society. We hope that you will support the Society as its membership grows along the Pacific Rim from California to Alaska.

POINTS OF INTEREST - PLACES TO SEE

Click HERE to view the Mile by Mile Points of interest and Great Places to see while visiting the Oregon Coast. In today's economy it is important to plan your trip to take advantage of your recreational opportunities. In addition to our Points of interest and Places to see while visiting the Oregon Coast click on the link to the Oregon Coast Today Newspaper to see interesting places to visit and new things to experience while visiting the Central Oregon Coast; or know before you go with the Country Traveler Online. We emphasize those businesses that support the interest of recreational clam diggers. Click HERE for information for Pete Heley's Outdoor fishing publications. We sell and endorse the products manufactured by Willapa Marine

PHOTO GALLERY OF EVENTS

Click HERE to view photo gallery of clam digging activities. Participate! Share your clam digging adventures and recipes with us. Post your photographs and clam recipes by emailing them to us at crabbinginfo@yahoo.com

PHOTOGRAPIC ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

We wish to acknowledge and thank William Barss, Eric Schindler and Tammy Wagner of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife for providing the following photographs.

1.      Pacific Ocean Perch, Sebastes alutus, photo by William Barss ODFW.

2.      Aurora rockfish, Sebastes aurora, photo by William Barss ODFW.

3.      Redbanded rockfish, Sebastes babcocki, photo by William Barss ODFW.

4.      Darkblotched rockfish, Sebastes crameri, photo by William Barss ODFW.

5.      Splitnose rockfish, Sebastes diploproa, photo by William Barss ODFW.

6.      Widow rockfish, Sebastes entomelas, photo by William Barss ODFW.

7.      Yellowtail rockfish, Sebastes flavidus, photo by William Barss ODFW.

8.      Rosethorn rockfish, Sebastes helvomaculatus, photo by William Barss ODFW.

9.      Shortbelly rockfish, Sebastes jordani, photo by William Barss ODFW.

10.    Quillback rockfish, Sebastes maliger, photo by William Barss ODFW.

11.    Vermilion rockfish, Sebastes miniatus, photo by ODFW.

12.    Blue rockfish, Sebastes mystinus, photo by William Barss ODFW.

13.    China rockfish, Sebastes nebulosus, photo by William Barss ODFW.

14.    Tiger rockfish, Sebastes nigrocinctus, photo by William Barss ODFW.

15.    Bocaccio rockfish, Sebastes paucispinis, photo by William Barss ODFW.

16.    Bank rockfish, Sebastes rufus, photo by William Barss ODFW.

17.    Yellowmouth rockfish, Sebastes reedi, photo by William Barss ODFW.

18.    Stripetail rockfish, Sebastes saxicola, photo by William Barss ODFW.

19.    Sharpchin rockfish, Sebastes zacentrus, photo by William Barss ODFW.

20.    Black and yellow rockfish Sebastes chrysomelas, photo by Wilsman ODFW.

21.    Shortspine Thornyhead, Sebastolobus alascanus, photo by William Barss ODFW.

22.    Pacific Cod, Gadus macrocephalus, photo by ODFW.

23.    Cabezon, Scorpaenichthys marmoratus, by ODFW.

24.    Kelp greenling male and female, Hexagrammos decagrammus, by ODFW.

25.    Whitespotted greenling, Hexagrammos stelleri, No photo available.

26.    Rock greenling, Hexagrammos lagocephalus, by ODFW.

27.    Pacific herring, Celpea pallasi, photo my William Woodrow Lackner.

28.    Lingcod, Ophiodon elongatus, photo by William Barss ODFW.

29.    Pileperch, Damalichthys vacca, photo by William Barss ODFW.

30.    Striped seaperch, Taeniotoca lateralis, photo by William Barss ODFW.   

31.    Rainbow seaperch, Hypsurus caryi, no photo available.

32.    White seaperch, Phanerodon furcatus, no photo available.

33.    Green Sturgeon, Acipenser medirostris, photo by ODFW.

34.    White sturgeon, Acipenser transmontanus, photo by ODFW.

35.    Albacore Tuna, Thunnus alalunga, photo by William Lackner.

36.    Pacific halibut, Hippoglossus stenolepis, by William Barss ODFW.

37.    Arrowtooth flounder, Atheresthes stomias, by William Barss ODFW.

38.    Butter sole, Isopsetta isolepis, by William Barss ODFW.

39.    Curlfin sole, Pleuronichthys decurrnns, by William Barss ODFW.

40.    Dover sole, Microstomus pacificus, by William Barss ODFW.

41.    English sole, Parophrys vetulus, by William Barss ODFW.

42.    Flathead sole, Hippoglossoides elassodon, by William Barss ODFW.

43.    Pacific Sanddab, Githarichthys sordidus, by William Barss ODFW.

44.    Petrale sole, Eopsetta jordani, by William Barss ODFW.

45.    Rex sole, Glyptocephalus zachirus, by William Barss ODFW.

46.    Rock Sole, Lepidopsetta bilineata, by William Barss ODFW.

47.    Sand sole, Psettichthys melanostictus, by William Barss ODFW.

48.    Starry Flounder, Platichthys stellatus, by William Barss ODFW.

49.    Chinook (Oncorhynchus tschawytscha) and coho salmon(Oncorhynchus kisutch), by Eric Schindler ODFW.  

50.    Cover photograph ODFW District Fish Biologist Bob Buckman, tackle manufacture Dan Dettmann and friend fulfilled their expectations fishing out of Depoe Bay.  Photo by Bob Buckman.

51.    Three albacore tuna caught on a private boat 40 plus miles west of Yaquina Bay.

52.    Clam digger Bart poses with two of the large gaper clams he dug in Alsea Bay.

53.   Back cover photograph of author with a Chinook and coho salmon caught on a private boat out of Depoe Bay

We wish to acknowledge and thank Donald E. Kramer, Chairman, University of Alaska, Marine Advisory Program for permission to use the following photographs of the rockfish from the, “Guide to Northeast Pacific Rockfishes Genera Sebastes and Sebastolobus” by Don Kramer and Victoria M. O’ Connell, Groundfish biologist, Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Sitka, Alaska.

1.      Rougheye rockfish, Sebastes aleutianus, photo by Donald E. Kramer.

2.      Brown rockfish, Sebastes auriculatus, photo by Donald E. Kramer.     

3.      Shortraker rockfish, Sebastes borealis, photo by Donald E. Kramer.

4.      Copper rockfish, Sebastes caurinus, photo by Donald E. Kramer.

5.      Greenstriped rockfish Sebastes elongatus, photo by Donald E. Kramer.

6.      Black rockfish Sebastes melanops, photo by Donald E. Kramer.

7.      Canary rockfish, Sebastes pinniger, photo by Donald E. Kramer.

8.      Redstripe rockfish, Sebastes proriger, photo by Donald E. Kramer.

9.      Yelloweye rockfish, Sebastes ruberriumus, photo by Donald E. Kramer.

10.    Silvergray rockfish, Sebastes brevispinis, photo by Donald E. Kramer.

We wish to acknowledge and thank the California Department of Fish and Game for permission to use the following photographs.

1.      Striped bass, Roccus saxatilis, photo by the California Department of Fish and Game.

2.      Redtail surfperch, Amphistichus rhodoterus, photo by the California Department of Fish and Game.

3.      Silver surfperch, Hyperprosopon ellipticus, photo by the California Department of Fish and Game.

4.      Walleye surfperch, Hyperprosopon argenteum, photo by the California Department of Fish and Game.

References:

The Oregon Ocean Book 1985 by the Oregon Division of State Lands.

The Oregon Estuary Plan Book by the Department of Land Conservation and Development.

The Coast Pilot.

Chinook Salmon Populations in Oregon Coastal River Basins: Description of Life Histories and Assessment of Recent Trends in Run Strengths by J Nicholas and D Hankin

Marine Baits of California by Charles H. Turner and Jermy C. Smith.

Market Squid Investigations in Oregon 1983–1985 in ODFW Information Report 85–10.

Maturity and Reproductive Cycle for 35 species from the Family Scorpaenidae Found Off Oregon by Bill H. Barss.

Essential Fish Habitat West Coast Ground Fish Appendix, Prepared By EFH Core For West Coast Groundfish.

History and Status of Oregon’s Pacific Razor Clam Resource ODFW Information Report 2000–06

1984 Clam Studies ODFW Information Report 85–8 by Tom Gaumer.

Subtidal Clam Populations, Distribution, Abundance and Ecology a cooperative effort by Oregon State University Sea Grant College Program and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Movement of Lingcod Tagged off the Central Oregon Coast by Bill H. Barss and Robert L. Demory.

Species Profiles: Life Histories and Environmental Requirements of Coastal Fishes and Invertebrates, Pileperch, Striped Seaperch and Rubberlip Seaperch; Brown Rockfish, Copper Rockfish and Black Rockfish.

The Annual Cycle of Profile Changes of Two Oregon Beaches by Nicolas A. Aguilar–Tunon and Paul D. Komar.

Oregon Estuary Reports by ODFW.

Oregon’s Captivating Clams by Oregon State University Extension Service

Oregon’s Salty Coast by Jim Gibbs

The 1983 Pacific West Coast Bottom Trawl Survey of Groundfish Resources: Estimates of Distribution, Abundance, Age and Length Composition by Kenneth L. Weinberg, Mark E. Wilkins and Thomas A. Dark.

Guide to Northeast Pacific Rockfishes Genera Sebastes and Sebastolobus by Donald E. Kramer and Victoria M. O’Connell.

Guide to Northeast Pacific Flatfishes, Families Bothidae, Cynoglossidae, and Pleuronectidae by Donald E. Kramer, William H. Barss, Brian C. Paust and Barry E. Bracken. 

Why are all the crabs dying? By Dale Snow, ODFW.

The Albacore Tuna Fishery of Oregon, Educational Bulletin No. 3 Fish Commission of Oregon, by Irving W. Jones.

Stocking the Blue-Eyed Scallop by Euell Gibbons reference to pea crabs. 

Age, Growth, and Population Trends of Striped Bass, Morone saxatilis, in Oregon by A. Mcgie and R. Mullen.

The Pacific Halibut by Heward Bell.

Release Methods for Rockfish by Steve Theberge and Steve Parker.  Printed by permission of Sandy Ridlingtion of Sea Grant Communications.  Credits: Editing and layout: Sandy Ridlington;  Photos: Figures 1, 2 (right), and 7 are reprinted by permission from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. The other figures are from Oregon Sea Grant Extension.  Steve Theberge is a Sea Grant Extension agent, stationed in Clatsop County, Oregon. Steve Parker is a research biologist with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Ecology and Management of Coastal Cutthroat Trout in Oregon by Richard D. Giger. CO-OPERATIVE MANAGEMENT OF THE GEODUCK AND HORSE CLAM FISHERY IN BRITISH COLUMBIA by Michelle James.

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