Mussel harvesting is closed on most of the Oregon coast due to the toxin

Published on 09/09/22 at 17:55
By the staff of the Oregon Coast Beach Connection

(Yachats, Oregon) – The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) and the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) announced on Friday that mussel harvesting was closed on more than the half of the Oregon coast. The closure extends from the Yachats River to the Columbia River and the state line, including most of the Central Coast and all of Oregon’s North Coast. The agencies said recent tests showed levels of marine biotoxin paralytic poison that exceeded the shutdown limit. (Photo courtesy Seaside Aquarium: A mussel is slowly devoured by a starfish)

You can still harvest mussels from the Yachats River south through Florence, Reedsport, Coos Bay, Bandon, Gold Beach and all the way to Brookings.

“The recreational clam and crab fishery remains open along the entire Oregon Coast,” the ODA said. “The ODA will continue to test shellfish for toxins twice a month, tides and weather conditions permitting. Reopening an area closed to biotoxins requires two consecutive tests with results below the closure limit.

Knife fishing is still open on most of the coastline. However, the two agencies would like to remind the public that recreational harvesting of this chunk is currently closed at Clatsop Beaches, which is the area between Tillamook Head and the Columbia River – essentially Seaside, Gearhart and Warrenton.

Yachats River and Bay: copyright Oregon Coast Beach Connection

This is not due to biotoxins but to the annual closure of ODFW knives. It allows young clams to settle and ensures the wealth of the region’s population, which accounts for about 90% of the razor clams of the entire Oregon Coast. The hanging of knives again in this area will be open on October 1 at the earliest.

Contact ODFW for recreational license requirements, permits, rules and limitations.

For more information, call the ODA Shellfish Biotoxin Safety Hotline at (800) 448-2474, the Food Safety Division at (503) 986-4720, or visit ODA Web of Shellfish Biotoxin Closures. MORE PHOTOS BELOW

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Photo above courtesy of Seaside Aquarium

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