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Shellfish safety closures

Shellfish safety hotline

The Oregon Department of Agriculture's shellfish safety hotline is toll free and provides the most current information regarding shellfish safety closures. The ODA Web pages may not be updated as quickly as the shellfish safety hotline. Please call the shellfish safety hotline before harvesting.
 
Shellfish safety hotline: 503-986-4728 or 1-800-448-2474 toll free.​
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Recreational shellfish harvesting status as of 07/09/2012

  • Mussel harvesting is closed from Tillamook Head south of Seaside to Haceta Head in Lane County.
  • All other shellfish harvesting remains open from the Columbia River to the California Border
  • The consumption of whole recreationally harvested scallops is not recommended. However, coastal scallops are not affected by this closure when only the adductor muscle is eaten.
Please note: The shellfish safety hotline is updated immediately when shellfish toxins reach the alert level. The hotline is your best source for up-to-date shellfish beach closure information. This Web page is updated soon after. For your safety, call the hotline before harvesting shellfish in Oregon.
 
This Web page provides an update of on-going shellfish safety closures on the Oregon Coast. This information will be updated monthly, or when there are new closures, openings, significant changes in shellfish toxin levels, or other events of interest to harvesters.​
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Most recent news releases

07/06/12 - Mussel Harvesting closed from Tillamook Head to Heceta Head due to marine toxins.
09/30/11 - Entire Oregon Coast now open for shellfish harvesting.
7/29/11 - North Coast beaches reopened to mussel harvesting.
7/01/11 - North Coast closed to mussel harvesting.​
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What are shellfish safety closures?

Shellfish can be contaminated by natural events such as harmful algae blooms (HABs) or man-made events such as sewage spills. The Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) jointly issue shellfish safety closures to protect recreational shellfish harvesters from consuming clams or mussels contaminated with harmful biotoxins. However, because recreational shellfishing areas are not monitored for fecal coliform, ODA recommends you thoroughly cook all recreationally harvested shellfish prior to consumption.
 
Marine biotoxins -- paralytic shellfish toxins (PST) and domoic acid, are the most common reasons for shellfish closures in Oregon coastal waters. Biotoxins can cause mild to severe health problems for consumers. Visit one of the Web sites below for more information about marine biotoxins.
  • The harmful algae page
  • Northwest Fisheries Science Center (NWFSC) - HABs
  • Olympic Region Harmful Algal Blooms - ORHAB Partnership
  • More information about Oregon’s shellfish resources
Commercial shellfish for human consumption, including oysters, clams and mussels, is part of the ODA Food Safety Program and the US Food and Drug Administration inspection and sampling programs. If you think you have become ill from consuming shellfish (commercially or recreationally harvested) seek medical assistance and contact your local county health department to report your illness.​
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PST sample results are above the alert level in mussels.

Recent shellfish samples indicate levels of paralytic shellfish toxins (PSTs) are above the alert level in mussels from Tillamook Head south of Seaside to Heceta Head in Lane County.

PST sample results are below the alert levels for all other shellfish on the Oregon Coast from the Columbia River to the California Border.
 
Coastal scallops are not affected by PST when only the adductor muscle is eaten. The consumption of whole recreationally harvested scallops is not recommended.
 
Shellfish samples are collected regularly, as tides, weather, and surf allow. Warm ocean waters and calm seas are favorable conditions for a bloom of algae that produces PST. A shellfish safety closure is issued immediately if PST levels rise above the alert level of 80 micrograms per 100 grams. For the most current information please check the shellfish safety hotline: (1-800-448-2474).
 
Shellfish contaminated with PST can cause minor to severe illness or even death. PST cannot be destroyed by cooking, by adding baking soda, or by any other method of processing. PST symptoms usually begin with tingling of the mouth and tongue. Severe poisoning can result in dizziness, numbness and tingling in the arms and legs, paralysis of the arms and legs, and paralysis of the muscles used for breathing. PST(s) are produced by algae and usually originate in the ocean.​
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Domoic acid remains below the alert level.

Domoic acid remains below the alert level in all shellfish along the entire Oregon Coast, from the Columbia River to the California Border. Coastal scallops are not affected by closures when only the adductor muscle is eaten. The consumption of whole recreationally harvested scallops is not recommended.
 
Shellfish samples are collected regularly, as tides, weather, and surf allow. A shellfish safety closure is issued immediately if domoic acid levels rise above the alert level of 20ppm. For the most current information please check the shellfish safety hotline: (1-800-448-2474).
 
Domoic acid is a naturally occurring toxin produced by marine phytoplankton or algae. Eating shellfish contaminated with domoic acid can cause minor illness within minutes or hours after consumption. The toxin is not destroyed by cooking, by adding baking soda, or by any other method of processing. In mild cases, symptoms can include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and headache. More severe cases can result in memory problems and even death.​
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Commercial razor clam harvesting

The Oregon Coast is now OPEN effective October 1st, 2011 to commercial razor clam harvesting along all Clatsop Beaches. The ODA has authority to restrict the distribution of shellfish sold by commercial processors and will halt distribution if sampling indicates that clams are above the alert level for either biotoxin (20 parts per million (ppm) for domoic acid and 80 micrograms per 100 grams for PST). People are more likely to suffer illness from eating shellfish with high levels of biotoxins. Harvest controls are implemented when biotoxins reach the alert level, thereby reducing the risk to consumers. Shellfish samples are collected regularly, as tides, weather, and surf allow.​
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Harmful algae bloom monitoring

ODA and ODFW monitor for the toxigenic alga or plankton that produce domoic acid and PST. Zach Forster, phytoplankton sampling coordinator with the ODFW, reported the following on May 18th 2012:
After a relatively quiet spring we are beginning to see an increase in species diversity in the nearshore phytoplankton community, most notably along the south and central coast of Oregon is the appearance of the smallest P.deli./p.deli. sub-type.  The highest P-n cell counts were seen at Tillicum Beach (27,000 cells/L) and North Spit (23,000 cells/L) all other sites remained below 10,000 cells/L. 
More information on Oregon’s razor clams
Information on harmful algae blooms​
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Biotoxin results of interest


Week of July 2nd, 2012

DA level (ppm) 
PST level (μg/100g) Location 
Type of sample
< 1.0 
< 38.9
S. Jetty Columbia River Mussels
​< 1.0 82.3​ Silver Point, Arcadia Beach​ Mussels​
 < 1.0  < 38.0 Newport Beaches, North Jetty Yaquina R.
Razor Clams
< 1.0
45.6
Bob Creek Wayside
Mussels
 < 1.0 45.1
Bastendorf Beach to Cape Arago Mussels
 < 1.0 < 38.3
Gold Beach, Myers Creek
Mussels 


Week of June 25th, 2012
DA level (ppm) 
PST level (μg/100g) Location 
Type of sample
N/A
46.8 Bastendorf Beach to Cape Arago Mussels
 N/A 
 < 35.2 Gold Beach, Myers Creek
Mussels


Week of June 18th, 2012<
DA level (ppm) 
PST level (μg/100g) Location 
Type of sample
< 1.0 
45.6
S. Jetty Columbia River Mussels
 < 1.0 
 < 38.1 Clatsop Beaches, South Jetty Columbia
Razor Clams
 < 1.0  < 37.3 Clatsop Beaches, Seaside 
Razor Clams
< 1.0
< 39.1 Cape Meares Mussels 
 < 1.0 < 35.6 Seal Rock State Park Mussels
< 1.0​ < 38.2​ ​Alsea Bay, North Shore ​Mussels
​< 1.0 < 38.4
​Bob Creek Wayside
Mussels
 < 1.0 69.4
Bastendorf Beach to Cape Arago Mussels
 < 1.0 
 < 38.2 
Gold Beach, Myers Creek Mussels


Week of June 11th, 2012
DA level (ppm) 
PST level (μg/100g) Location 
Type of sample
N/A 
< 28.0 Cape Meares Mussels
 N/A 
 < 35.9 Seal Rock State Park
Mussels


Week of June 4th, 2012
DA level (ppm) 
PST level (μg/100g) Location 
Type of sample
< 1.0 
< 41.8 S. Jetty Columbia River Mussels
 < 1.0 
 < 46.4 Silver Point, Arcadia Beach 
Mussels
 < 1.0  48.5 N. Lincoln County, 15th St. 
Mussels 
1.2 < 37.1 Newport, Agate Beach 
Razor Clams 
 < 1.0 < 36.9 Yachats River, Smelt Sands Mussels
 < 1.0 <41.7 Bastendorf Beach to Cape Arago Mussels
 < 1.0 
 < 37.2 
Gold Beach, Myers Creek Mussels 


Week of May, 21st, 2012
DA level (ppm) 
PST level (μg/100g) Location 
Type of sample
 < 1.0 
 < 37.0 Sth Jetty Columbia River 
Mussels 
 < 1.0 
 < 36.6 Clatsop Beach, Seaside 
Razor Clams 
< 1.0 
< 36.7 Cape Meares 
Mussels
 <1.0 
 < 36.6 Newport Beaches @ Nth Jetty Mussels 
 < 1.0 
 < 38.1 Bob Creek Wayside 
Mussels
 < 1.0 
< 36.1 Bastendorf Beach 
Mussels 
 < 1.0 < 37.9 Gold Beach, Myers Creek 
Mussels


Week of May 7th, 2012 
DA level (ppm) 
PST level (μg/100g) Location 
Type of sample
< 1.0 
< 34.2 S. Jetty Columbia River Mussels
< 1.0 
 < 37.0 Clatsop Beaches, Seaside 
Razor Clams 
 < 1.0 
 < 34.9 Silver Point, Arcadia Beach 
Mussels
 < 1.0  < 35.6 N. Lincoln County, 15th St. 
Mussels 
1.4 
< 35.2 Newport, Agate Beach 
Razor Clams 
 < 1.0 < 37.6 Yachats River, Smelt Sands Mussels
 < 1.0 5 Bastendorf Beach to Cape Arago Mussels
< 1.0 < 34.2 Gold Beach, Meyers Creek 
Mussels 


Week of April 23rd, 2012
DA level (ppm) 
PST level (μg/100g) Location 
Type of sample
 < 1.0 
 < 37.9 Sth Jetty Columbia River 
Mussels
 < 1.0 
 < 38.0 Clatsop Beach, Sth Jetty 
Razor Clams 
 < 1.0 
 < 38.5 
Clatsop Beach, Seaside 
Razor Clams 
< 1.0 
< 38.2 Cape Meares Mussels
 <1.0 
 < 38.4 Newport Beaches @ Nth Jetty Mussels 
 < 1.0 
 < 37.9 Bob Creek Wayside 
Mussels
 < 1.0 
 < 38.0 Bastendorf Beach 
Mussels 

 < 1.0 < 37.7 Gold Beach, Myers Creek 
Mussels

Week of April 9th, 2012 
  
DA level (ppm) 
PST level (μg/100g) Location 
Type of sample
< 1.0 
< 36.9 S. Jetty Columbia River Mussels
1.6  < 34.7 Clatsop Beaches, Seaside 
Razor Clams 
 < 1.0 
 < 37.7 Silver Point, Arcadia Beach 
Mussels
 < 1.0  < 37.7 N. Lincoln County, 15th St. 
Mussels 
1.4 
< 37.6 
Newport, Agate Beach 
Razor Clams 
 < 1.0 < 37.7 Yachats River, Smelt Sands Mussels
 < 1.0 < 38.0 Gold Beach, Myers Creek Mussels
< 1.0 < 38.0 Bastendorf Beach to Cape Arago Razor Clams 
  1.5    < 37.2 Whiskey Run, Sachi Beach Razor Clams


Week of March 26th, 2012 
DA level (ppm) 
PST level (μg/100g) Location 
Type of sample
< 1.0 
< 39.0 S. Jetty Columbia River Mussels
1.1 
 < 38.2 Clatsop Beaches, Seaside 
Razor Clams 
 < 1.0 
 < 38.5 Silver Point, Arcadia Beach 
Mussels
 < 1.0 
 < 38.4 N. Lincoln County, 15th St. 
Mussels 
 < 1.0 < 38.8 Yachats River, Smelt Sands 
Mussels
 < 1.0 
 < 38.4 
Bastendorf Beach to Cape Arago 
Mussels
 < 1.0 
 < 37.3 
Gold Beach, Myers Creek 
Mussels


Week of March 12th, 2012
DA level (ppm) 
PST level (μg/100g) Location 
Type of sample
< 1.0 
< 38.3 Cape Meares 
Mussels
 <1.0 
 < 37.7 Newport Beaches @ Nth Jetty Mussels 
 < 1.0 
 < 37.1 Bob Creek Wayside 
Mussels
 < 1.0 
 < 37.0 Bastendorf Beach 
Mussels 
 < 1.0 < 37.1 Gold Beach, Myers Creek 
Mussels


Week of February 20th, 2012
DA level (ppm) 
PST level (μg/100g) Location 
Type of sample
 < 1.0 
 < 37.3 
Columbia River, South Jetty 
Mussels 
< 1.0 
< 38.2 Silver Point Mussels
 <1.0 
 < 37.9 Nth Lincoln Co. 15th Street 
Mussels 
 < 1.0 
 < 35.9 Yachats, Smelt Sands 
Mussels
 < 1.0 
 < 36.1 
Bastendorf Beach 
Mussels 
 < 1.0 < 36.6 Gold Beach, Myers Creek 
Mussels


Week of February 6th, 2012
DA level (ppm) 
PST level (μg/100g) Location 
Type of sample
< 1.0 
< 37.7 Columbia River, South Jetty 
Mussels
 <1.0 
 < 36.6 Clatsop Beaches, Seaside 
Razor Clams 
 < 1.0 
 < 36.6 Cape Meares Mussels
 < 1.0 
 < 38.0 Newport, North Jetty Yaquina River 
Mussels
 < 1.0 
 < 36.9 Bob Creek Wayside 
Mussels 
 < 1.0 < 38.0 Bastendorf Beach to Cape Arago Mussels
< 1.0 < 38.4
Gold Beach, Myers Creek 
Mussels


Week of January 23rd, 2012 
DA level (ppm) 
PST level (μg/100g) Location 
Type of sample
< 1.0 
< 38.0 Silver Point Mussels
 <1.0 
 < 38.6 Nth Lincoln Co. 15th Street 
Mussels 
 < 1.0 
 < 38.1 
Siletz Bay 
Varnish Clams 
 < 1.0 
 < 38.3 Yachats, Smelt Sands 
Mussels
 < 1.0 
 < 38.1 
Bastendorf Beach 
Mussels 
 < 1.0 < 38.8 
Gold Beach, Myers Creek 
Mussels


Week of January 9th, 2012 
DA level (ppm) 
PST level (μg/100g) Location 
Type of sample
< 1.0   < 38.4 Columbia River, South Jetty 
Mussels 
1.4 
< 38.7 Clatsop Beach, Seaside Razor Clams 
  < 1.0 
41.3 
Cape Meares 
Mussels
 < 1.0 <38.1 
Newport Beaches, North Jetty 
Mussels 
 < 1.0 
 < 38.1 Bob Creek 
Mussels
 < 1.0  < 38.0 
Bastendorf Beach  
Mussels 
 <1.0 < 38.8 
Gold Beach, Myers Creek 
Mussels​
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