PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife reopened recreational razor clamming for Northwest Oregon on Oct. 4. Clam digging was closed from Clatsop Beach to the Oregon-Washington border on July 15 for annual conservation efforts.

“During the conservation closure, biologists assess the razor clam population on these beaches where most of Oregon’s razor clam harvest happens,” the ODFW said.

razor clam
A razor clam examined by the ODFW. (ODFW)

Multiple domoic acid tests were also conducted on the local razor clams to determine if they are safe to eat. Although domoic acid is not considered harmful to the species of bivalve mollusk, the neurotoxin can be fatal to people if consumed in high doses, wildlife officials say. 

There is no antidote for domoic acid. Symptoms of domoic acid poisoning include vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, and abdominal cramps. In severe cases, neurological symptoms develop within 48 hours that include headache, dizziness, confusion, loss of short-term memory, motor weakness, seizures, profuse respiratory secretions, cardiac arrhythmia and coma.

ODFW officials said that most of the clams documented in the area are currently juveniles between three or four inches in size. Better clam digging conditions are expected later this fall.