Oregon News

Razor clamming reopens on mid and north coast; two bays reopen for commercial oyster harvest; coastwide closures remain for mussel and bay clam harvesting

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NEWS RELEASE

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife

www.odfw.com

Contact:

ODA Shellfish Desk, 503-986-4726

Matthew Hunter, ODFW 971-606-0428

SALEM, Ore – Razor clamming reopens today from Yachats to the Washington border and commercial oyster harvest reopens in Netarts and Tillamook bays, the Oregon Department of Agriculture and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife announced today. Two consecutive tests showed biotoxin levels below the closure limit.

Bay clam and mussel harvest remain closed coastwide due to high levels of the marine biotoxin Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP). Razor clam harvesting remains closed from Yachats to the California border due to high levels of PSP and domoic acid.

ODFW and ODA closed the razor clam fishery June 6 from Yachats to Washington border as a precautionary measure. While testing showed this area under the closure threshold for razors, the agencies agreed to close harvest out of an abundance of caution since PSP levels had elevated very rapidly and were very high in other shellfish species.  With today’s test results, this area reopened.

Current harvest closures and openings:

  • All bay clamming remains closed coastwide for high levels of PSP. This includes all clam species in the bays.
  • All mussel harvesting remains closed coastwide for elevated levels of PSP.
  • Razor clamming is open from the Washington border to Yachats and closed from Yachats to the California border for high levels of PSP and domoic acid.
  • Crab harvesting remains open along the entire Oregon coast.

ODA commercial fisheries closures and openings:

  • Tillamook Bay and Netarts: oyster fishery is open.
  • Umpqua River/Winchester Bay: oyster fishery is closed.
  • Coastwide: bay clam fishery is closed.

 

People should always call the Shellfish Safety Hotline (1-800-448-2474) before heading out to harvest shellfish or visit the ODA Recreational Shellfish Biotoxin Closures Webpage.

ODA will continue testing for shellfish toxins at least twice a month as tides and weather permit. Reopening an area closed for biotoxins requires two consecutive tests with results below the closure limit.

PSP is a natural marine biotoxin produced by some species of microscopic algae. Oregon has seen historic high levels of PSP since late May, leading to multiple closures in several shellfish species since May 23. Watch ODFW’s Q&A with ODA and Oregon Health Authority for more information on PSP, shellfish poisoning symptoms, and shellfish testing.

Contact ODFW for recreational license requirements, permits, rules, and limits.

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