Officials Close Southern Oregon Razor Clamming Due to Toxin Levels

Elevated levels of domoic acid in tested razor clams have led Oregon officials to close down razor clamming along the Southern Oregon coast.

Posted: Jun 15, 2018 5:20 PM
Updated: Jun 15, 2018 5:28 PM

SALEM, Ore. — Razor clamming is currently closed along the Southern Oregon coast, according to a statement from the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA).

Wildlife and ODA officials made the decision after domoic acid levels were tested as within the harmful range for razor clams.

Razor clamming is closed until further notice from Cascade Head to the north jetty of the Umpqua River, and ffrom Cape Arago to the California border. This includes all beaches and all bays, ODA says.

Columbia River to Cascade Head and the south jetty of the Umpqua River to Cape Arago will remain open for razor clamming.

Cape Arago lies just south of Coos Bay—meaning that the closure affects the entire Southern Oregon coast below Coos Bay.

Domoic acid is produced by algae and tends to gather in shellfish. It is considered a neurotoxin, and can be harmful to humans if ingested when present in large enough concentrations.

The same toxin caused several troublesome closures to both recreational and commercial crabbing during this last season, leading legislators to move toward more accurate methods of pinpointing elevated levels.

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