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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 7/29/2014

  • Recreational shellfish harvesting is open from the South Jetty of the Columbia River to the California border, with the exception of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife conservation closure for razor clams. The conservation closure extends from the Columbia River to Tillamook Head. It is an annual event that occurs each year from July 15th to September 30th. 
  • Scallops are not being sampled for biotoxins at this time. Due to potential biotoxins, consuming whole scallops is not recommended. However, the scallops' adductor muscle does not accumulate biotoxins and may be safe for consumption.
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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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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Paralytic shellfish toxin sample results

 
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 results.

 
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 reopened to commercial razor clam harvesting along all Clatsop Beaches effective October 1st. 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 higher 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.

Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife (ODFW) also has the authority to restrict razor clam harvesting along Clatsop Beaches. The ODFW issues a conservation closure each year from July 15th to September 31st to protect newly set clams.
 

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Recent Biotoxin Results (Results for each table are in order from North to South)​​​​​


Week of July 21st, 2014
Location:                                       Domoic Acid     PST         Species       
​South Jetty Columbia River                    NA          <37.4       Mussels
Cape Meares                                           NA          <36.9       Mussels
Newport Beaches, North Jetty                NA          <38.0       Mussels
Siuslaw Bay                                           NA          <37.2       Mussels
Coos N. Jetty & Spit                               NA          <37.6       Varnish Clams
Bastendorf Beach, Cape Arago               NA          <37.7       Mussels
Gold Beach, Myers Creek                        NA            48.2        Mussels



Week of July 14th, 2014
Location:                                       Domoic Acid     PST         Species      
South Jetty Columbia River                <1.0          <34.9       Mussels
Clatsop Beach, South Jetty                 <1.0            42.2        Razor Clams
Silver Point                                         <1.0            43.8       Mussels
North Lincoln County, Roads End       <1.0          <34.9       Mussels
Siletz Bay                                           <1.0          <35.2        Varnish Clams
Seal Rock State Park                           <1.0          <34.7       Mussels
Yachats River                                      <1.0          <36.1       Mussels
Coos N. Jetty & Spit                              3.8          <35.8        Razor Clams
Bastendorf Beach, Cape Arago            <1.0            43.5        Mussels
Gold Beach, Myers Creek                     <1.0            61.6        Mussels



Week of July 7th, 2014
Location:                                      Domoic Acid     PST          Species       
South Jetty Columbia River                  NA           38.5​         Mussels
Clatsop Beach, South Jetty                   NA           54.1         Razor Clams
Cape Meares                                         NA           53.2         Mussels
Siletz Bay, Schooner Creek                   NA         <36.4         Varnish Clams
Newport Beaches, North Jetty               NA         <35.5        Mussels
Seal Rock State Park                             NA         <36.9        Mussels
Coos Bay, N. Jetty & Spit                      NA          <37.7       Clams
Bastendorf Beach, Cape Arago              NA            59.7        Mussels
Gold Beach, Myers Creek                       NA            38.0        Mussels



Week of June 30th, 2014
Location:                                      Domoic Acid     PST          Species       
South Jetty Columbia River              <1.0            62.3         Mussels
Clatsop Beach, Sunset Beach            <1.0          <37.7        Razor Clams
Cape Meares                                     <1.0             83.5        Mussels
Siletz Bay, Schooner Creek               <1.0           <38.6        Varnish Clams
Newport Beaches, North Jetty          <1.0             40.0         Mussels
Yaquina Bay                                     <1.0           <38.4        Soft Shell Clams
Alsea Bay, North Spit                       <1.0           <36.9        Thin Shell Clams
Coos Bay, N. Jetty & Spit                    3.2           <38.4        Razor Clams
Bastendorf Beach, Cape Arago          <1.0             80.1        Mussels
Gold Beach, Myers Creek                   <1.0             54.6        Mussels           



Week of June 23rd, 2014
Location:                                     Domoic Acid      PST          Species       
South Jetty Columbia River                NA             139.0       Mussels
Clatsop Beach South Jetty                  NA               46.6       Razor Clams
Silver Point, Indian Beach                  NA             <37.7       Razor Clams
Tillamook Bay                                     NA             <36.8       Oysters 
Netarts Bay                                         NA             <38.6       Cockles
Cape Meares                                       NA              240.0       Mussels
Newport Beaches, Agate Beach           NA             <37.8       Razor Clams
Newport Beaches, North Jetty             NA               52.2       Mussels
Siuslaw Bay, North Jetty                     NA             144.0       Mussels
Coos Bay, N. Jetty & Spit                    NA             <36.7       Razor Clams
Bastendorf Beach, Cape Arago            NA              136.0      Mussels
Gold Beach, Myers Creek                     NA                47.4      Mussels            



Week of June 16th, 2014
Location:                                    Domoic Acid       PST          Species          
South Jetty Columbia River              <1.0         >257.6        Mussels
Clatsop Beach South Jetty                  2.2              71.7        Razor Clams
Silver Point                                       <1.0           792.2        Mussels
Cape Meares                                      <1.0           140.3        Mussels
N. Lincoln County,​ Road's End          <1.0         >229.0        Mussels 
Siletz Bay, Schooner Creek                <1.0             45.1        Varnish Clams 
Seal Rock State Park                         <1.0             83.0        Mussels
Yachats River                                    <1.0           220.9        Mussels
Coos Bay, N. Jetty & Spit                     1.8           <35.5        Razor Clams
Bastendorf Beach, Cape Arago          <1.0            154.5        Mussels
Gold Beach, Myers Creek                   <1.0           <37.9         Mussels
 


Week of June 9th, 2014
Location:                                   Domoic Acid        PST           Species       
South Jetty Columbia River            NA                  69.2         Mussels
Clatsop Beach South Jetty              NA                  44.4         Razor Clams
Cape Meares, Short Sands              NA                 614.0        Mussels
Newport, Agate Beach                    NA                   35.2        Razor Clams
Newport Beaches, N. Jetty              NA                   78.7        Mussels
Bob Creek                                       NA                 126.0        Mussels
Siuslaw Bay, North Jetty                 NA                151.0         Mussels
Coos Bay, N. Jetty & Spit                NA                <35.7         Razor Clams
Bastendorf Beach, Cape Arago        NA                  71.6         Mussels
Gold Beach, Myers Creek                 NA                <37.0         Mussels



Week of June 2nd, 2014
Location:                                  Domoic Acid        PST           Species       
South Jetty Columbia River           NA                 217.8        Mussels
Cape Meares, Short Sands             NA                 168.2        Mussels
Newport Beaches, N. Jetty             NA                 226.2        Mussels
Alsea Bay, North Spit                    NA                   39.4         Varnish Clams
Bob Creek                                      NA                   58.4        Mussels
Coos North Jetty & Spit                 NA                 <36.1        Razor Clams
Bastendorf Beach, Cape Arago       NA                   74.6        Mussels
Gold Beach, Myers Creek                NA                   35.4        Mussels
  


Week of May 26th, 2014
Location:                                 Domoic Acid         PST           Species        
South Jetty Columbia River           NA                  46.9          Mussels
Clatsop Beach, S. Jetty                  NA                <38.8          Razor Clams
Cape Meares, Short Sands             NA                294.4          Mussels
Newport Beaches, N. Jetty             NA               <37.7          Mussels
Gold Beach, Myers Creek                NA                 49.8           Mussels



Week of May 19th, 2014
Location:                                Domoic Acid         PST           Species         
South Jetty Columbia River         <1.5              <38.3         Mussels
Clatsop Beaches, S. Jetty               3.7              <39.0         Razor Clams
Cape Meares, Short Sands           <1.5              <38.6         Mussels
Lincoln City, 15th St Access        <1.5                42.0          Mussels
Siletz Bay, Bay Schooner Crk       <1.5              <38.1         Varnish Clams
Seal Rock State Park                    <1.5              <38.4        Mussels
Yachats River                               <1.5              <38.5        Mussels
Coos North Jetty & Spit                  2.5              <38.4        Razor Clams
Bastendorf Beach, Cape Arago     <1.5              <39.0        Mussels
Gold Beach, Myers Creek              <1.5                50.2         Mussels 



Week of May 12th, 2014
Location:                               Domoic Acid           PST            Species         
South Jetty Columbia River        <1.0                <39.1          Mussels
Clatsop Beaches, S. Jetty              4.0                <39.0          Razor Clams
Cape Meares, Short Sands          <1.0                <38.7          Mussels
Newport Beaches, N. Jetty          <1.0                <38.0          Mussels
Alsea Bay                                    <1.0               <39.0          Thin Shell Clams
Bob Creek                                   <1.0                <38.7          Mussels
Coos North Jetty & Spit                2.6                <38.7          Razor Clams
Bastendorf Beach, Cape Arago    <1.0               <38.8          Mussels
Gold Beach, Myers Creek             <1.0                  60.4          Mussels


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