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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Now that many of you have given some awesome sounding clam chowder recipes, I'm hungry already for more.

With the recent beach closures for clamming, is there a place in Newport Bay you can clam? Also, how low of a tide do you need to get decent clamming. I've heard any minus tide, but how minus does the tide need to be before I am wasting my time?

How about Netarts, can you clam on any minus tide or do you have to be let's say -1 foot or more?

I'm new to clamming, and only have been once last year when the tide was about -1.5 at Netarts. We got close to our limit.

Today is question day, if the beach is closed for clamming are the bays toxic also? I don't see a closure for bays, unless I am missing something.

I'm very interested in learning where to clam in Newport Bay. This Saturday is a -.76 tide, is that good?

SKP
 

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Check your mail...
 

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I am also very curious about this. I am dying to do some clamming in the next few weeks. I guess I would have the same questions as SKP
 

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Oregon has a hot line for clamming closures 503-986-4728 this will tell you where it is safe to clam. :cheers:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I finally found an answer for clamming the bays on the ODFW website weekly fishing report. Here's the quote:

"Coastwide, bays are open for the harvest on non-razor clams, and all areas are open for mussels."

We can go clamming at Newport. I'm getting hungry! :cheers:

SKP

[ 06-26-2003, 01:32 PM: Message edited by: SKP ]
 

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Ramstrong!
That is a great tip! The using of a dowel to measure depth! Does it work on geoducks?
 

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Gutz,

I'd imagine it'd work on geoducks. We don't have them down in Coos Bay. But the big Gapers are 2+ feet down and that's how we got them.

mmmm clam strips!
 

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Ramstrong,

I like the dowel idea and I might give the bucket thing a try.

We have dug gapers many times on the Charleston mud flats. About a month ago my Father hit a -2 tide and scored some enormous clams. Three finger holes :shocked: about 1 1/2 to 2 feet down.

A bucket huh? We have always just sorta wallowed in the muck. After laying there half in the freezing water half out, arm covered up well past the elbow, fingers sliced by old shells, hand mussles cramping and numb from the cold, I've always found it a special reward to finally get my fingers around the shell and un-seat one of those huge clams and bring it to the surface.

Fun stuff.

:smile:
 

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This razor clam thing is most curious. Clam digging was, at one time, a huge boon to the beach communities when many weekends of the year the population would swell from 3-4000 to 70-80000 people. In those days you could drive to Seattle anytime and never slow down but there were huge traffic jams at the beach. I remember having tourists ask "how do you know where they are" and showing them how to dig. I remember digging in a gale and looking for holes through the ice and laughing and swearing the whole time.

Some will remember the industry which was built around clamming, sales of equipment and clam cleaning stations where many made a living. A lot of those folks went on welfare and unemployment and a few found other jobs after moving from their ancestral homes (along with the loggers, but that's another story).

In those days we all knew about the dangers of eating shellfish. No one, including F&G, was overly concerned and I can't recall any deaths from eating clams. When you didn't eat Razors you didn't eat any clams and vice versa.

In keeping with my almost certain notion that F&G folks are much more concerned with power over whole communities and politics and setting themselves up to be the "experts" that we must kowtow to in order to enjoy OUR outdoors, I postulate the following:

IT'S A LOAD OF BALONEY AND WE ARE BEING HUSTLED!
 

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How can the beaches be effected but not the bays? They ocean floods in bringing with it the alge that caused red tide. Bays like Netards have no fresh water so I would have think they would be very effected. Am I wrong to think like that?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Salmon Loser,

You should change your moniker to Salmon Winner. Anyway, I did call the hotline number. It kept saying, "Razor" clamming closed, but did not specifically mention other species. If it said, "Closed to all species of clamming on Oregon beaches and in all Oregon bays", then its a no brainer. But the hotline does not specifically mention if bays are open or not for other clam species. Neither does the website. Of course, you can't get throught to a live person, just a recording. Government.

:shrug:

SKP
 

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SKP,

It is closed to razor clamming. Razor clams live and grow on the ocean beaches. Bay clams are not effected by the closure. It would help knowing what clam species you are going to target.

Littleneck, butter clams and cockles can all be harvested by raking. Softshells by digging and Gapers by digging even deeper. A -.76 tide should be adequate for getting some clams. I'm from the south coast, so I don't know where the clam beds are on the N coast bays, but they shouldn't be to hard to find.

Softshells live farther upstream than the other clams. In water that's almost fresh. The others will be closer to the bay mouth where salinities are higher. Look for a nice mud substrate and the clams shouldn't be to far away. I think the fishing in Oregon book has maps that show the clam beds for some of the Oregon Bays, Might be worth looking into.

If you're digging for Gapers, it's a good idea to get a 5 gallon bucket with the bottom cut out of it and some 3' long 1/4" dowels. When you find a clam, put the dowel in the hole and you'll feel the clam retract it's neck. Follow it all the way to the bottom. Once the neck has fully retracted you'll have an Idea of the depth of the clam. You then sink the bucket around the clam to keep you hole from colapsing as you dig. You can now dig down to the clam, and know when to stop without breaking the shell/cutting the neck. The hole wont' collapse with the bucket, so you can take your time (the clam isn't going anywhere).

The limit on gapers is 12. I forget what it is for the other clams. Have fun and let me know how you do.
 

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CorkyKing,

I'm not so sure about the effects of domoic acid being baloney. First of all, domoic acid wasn't discovered on the West Coast until 1991. WDFW has an informative page on domoic acid here. There's also information about the economic outfall of the closures that you mentioned.

I was raised digging and eating razor clams, and have been doing so all my life. Fried razor clams are my absolute favorite food. My mother ate some clams a few years ago that were dug right before one of the beach closures, and became violently ill. In fact she was found unconscious on the kitchen floor! Fortunately she had antihistamine handy, which her doctor said may have saved her.

Does she eat razor clams now? Of course she does. I think she may have skipped them one time. Would I eat clams dug during high domoic acid levels? Nope. (But somebody better not fry them and have them in front of me) I have enough problems with short-term memory loss as it is. :wink: Eating clams is not worth dying over.
 

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Corkyking,


I've always suspected some effort by the F&G to manipulate clamming communities. I'de be interested to see if it really is a government caused problem. Would you consider eating
a decent serving of Razors(6-10 clams) from a closed area and let us know if you become violently ill?


-Bottomfeeder
 

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Howdy SKP. Netarts is where we live and clam on just about every -tide. Domoic acid is not a problem in bays, however the acid guys say you should not eat crab butter (if you can stand it) from any clam. If you would like to meet some time, E-mail me and we can hit a tide together and I will help you find the productive beds.

Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Sore Back,

I might just do that. Funny thing, my wife was born in Netarts. Supposedly, she was the first recorded birth in Netarts. Does that make her a Netartithal? Or just Netarted. :grin: :laugh: Seriously, she was born there at home in 1964. Her dad delivered her (actually her mom delivered her, but her dad caught her).

Next time I can make it to Netarts, I'll have to make a post or send an email. I've clammed only once in my life last year in Netarts. I'm going to Newport tomorrow to crab, but I'm going to investigate the low tidal areas, so I am not sure if we will get any clams or not. I've been given some spots to check out, but time will be limited, as I'm going to have to leave Salem by 4 AM to get to Newport by 6 AM.

Say, how's crabbing in Netarts? I've not done any crabbing there, but I have crabbed in Siletz Bay and Yaquina Bay. Any good there?

SKP
 
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