Razor clam harvesting can continue until July 15 as scheduled, because the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission has voted to deny a citizen's petition to close the Clatsop County razor clam season early. Instead, staff will conduct a campaign to educate razor clam harvesters on the rules and how to avoid the take of small clams.
Al Gann of Warrenton had submitted a petition to the commission in May because of a concern over waste of small clams. Many small clams are present on Clatsop County beaches because the larger clams do not feed after spawning and last year's spawn was late.
An informal survey conducted by the Fish and Wildlife Department found that 25 to 30 percent of clam holes dug by people had small or broken clams in them, indicating that a large number of diggers were discarding unwanted clams. The daily recreational harvest limit is the first 15 razor clams, regardless of size or condition.
In response to the petition and the survey, the department will hand out fliers encouraging clam harvesters to look for clam siphon holes or "shows" that are dime-sized or larger to avoid small clams. The decision was made at the commission's meeting in Baker City Friday.