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About Seaside signal. (Seaside, Or.) 1905-current | View Entire Issue (July 19, 2019)
Friday, July 19, 2019 | Seaside Signal | SeasideSignal.com • A5
A ‘proliﬁ c harvest’ as razor clam season comes to end
The closure prohibits any
harvest of razor clams
along all Clatsop beach-
es from July 15 through
Sept. 30 every year.
long the 18 miles of Clatsop
County coastline, the 2019
razor clam season has been
extremely productive. Licensed rec-
reational harvesters have been able
to quickly ﬁ ll the allotted limit of
15 clams per day during low tides.
This years’ proliﬁ c seasonal
harvest is taking place after an
extended conservation closure.
After last years’ stock assess-
ments found that the 2018 clam
population was undersized, Ore-
gon Department of Fish and Wild-
life held a public meeting in Octo-
ber 2018 to invite input on potential
“We had great feedback from
those who attended the meeting
and those who could not,” stated
Matt Hunter, ODFW shellﬁ sh proj-
ect leader. The consensus was to
give the small clams a chance to
grow and delay until the spring to
provide a quality razor clamming
The annual conservation clo-
sure was enacted in 1967 to relieve
harvest pressure on the local razor
clam populations and takes place
from July 15 through Sept. 30
The closure prohibits any har-
vest of razor clams along all Clat-
sop beaches. These closures are to
protect undersized young clams and
to improve commercial and recre-
ational harvests. “What we saw last
year was an anomaly, we had a late
spawn, but limited food supply so
clams grew more slowly. By delay-
ing the razor clam season through
April it allowed the clams to grow
sufﬁ ciently to meet what both com-
mercial and recreational harvest-
ers ﬁ nd desirable,” said Hunter of
“A razor clam is at the surface
for one of two reasons, to feed or
to spawn,” explained Hunter. “The
timing of the closure is an attempt
Tiﬀ any Boothe/Seaside Aquarium
to encapsulate the timing of spawn-
Razor clam spawning can take
place May through July along the
Oregon Coast and it can take sev-
eral weeks for the clams to recover
from a spawning event. During late
summer, smaller clams are at the
surface to eat while larger clams
that spawned are deeper in the sand.
Larger sized clams also are an
indicator of reproductive ability.
Razor clams are able to reproduce
at two years of age which correlates
to clams measuring approximately
four inches in length. Razor Clam
reproduction is achieved through
broadcast spawning where sperm
and eggs are released into the water.
Female clams are able to release 6-
10 million eggs at once, of which
only 5% are expected to become
juvenile clams. Larvae (called veli-
gers) that develop from fertilized
eggs free-ﬂ oat with the ocean cur-
rent, slowly develop a shell and
eventually settle onto the ocean
ﬂ oor as juvenile clams.
The juveniles live closer to the
surface and bury themselves deeper
into the sand as they grow. Within
one year most clams are consid-
ered a harvestable size at 3.5 inches
and will reach 4.5 inches within
two years. Clams are either male
or female and will reach matu-
rity at two years. In California,
Oregon, and Washington the cur-
rent life span of razor clams ranges
from 5-7 years, but historically they
were reported to live up to 11 years.
In Alaska, razor clams have been
reported to live up to 18 years.
Clatsop Dounty beaches
account for 95% of Oregon’s razor
clam harvest due to the high den-
sity of the local razor clam pop-
ulation. To dig clams, shellﬁ sh
licenses are required and can be
purchased at local sporting goods
stores or online at https://dfw.state.
or.us. Razor clam shells are thin
and easily damaged, thus State law
requires that harvesters keep the
ﬁ rst 15 clams dug regardless of size
or condition. ODFW will conduct
the annual razor clam population
assessments mid-July through early
September during the annual con-
An Independence Day party for our great country
he last ﬁ rework exploded sometime
around 10:30 p.m. Following a hearty
and much deserved round of applause,
the great exodus began. Thousands of guests
and residents alike trooped away to their cars
or residences after a long day of celebrations
pointed toward patriotism for our great country.
I too paraded my family to our car — blan-
kets, lawn chairs and exhaustion be damned.
But after loading them up, I returned to the
beach. I had agreed to help my friends from
the Seaside Chamber of Commerce clean up
after all the festivities had concluded.
The chamber of com-
merce in Seaside car-
ries the same functions as
that organization might
have in other communi-
ties: furthering interests
of local business interests
and advocating for those
Chambers of commerce exist in 80 Ore-
gon cities but it’s my perspective and experi-
ence that the Seaside Chamber of Commerce
has some extremely unique responsibilities.
Our local chamber not only furthers business
interests and connects those businesses and
business owners with each other and local/
regional government, it also manages and
produces some of the biggest events in our
community each year.
Those events include Pouring at the Coast,
signiﬁ cant assistance with Hood to Coast and
the annual Beach Volleyball Tournament.
These events bring thousands of individuals
to our community, giving them a small sam-
ple of what our amazing region has to offer.
I’ve heard from many people that their
ﬁ rst experience in Seaside was for one of
these events and, as a result of being here,
they likely discovered a great restaurant,
hotel, trail or other feature of coastal living.
And because of that exposure those individ-
uals come back and frequent our business
establishments again and again, with some
even choosing to relocate here!
I would offer that few of our guests on the
Fourth of July know the collaboration and
undertaking of producing a wonderful experi-
ence. I’m not even sure that most of our resi-
dents know how much work it is either!
The Chamber, partnering with local agen-
cies and the City of Seaside, hosts the Fourth
of July parade as well as the ﬁ reworks show.
Both events are wonderfully managed and
are some of the best in our region. Managing
those events takes a great deal of coordina-
tion, preparation and execution on the day of.
But after the ﬁ reworks end, what was
already a long day only continues. The crew
— consisting of cham-
ber staff, volunteers and
City of Seaside employees
— breaks down the fenc-
ing, scaffolding and pyro-
technic equipment that was
necessary to hold a ﬁ re-
work show safely.
There are always chal-
lenges to work through, unexpected hiccups
that can make things a bit bumpy during that
process. There’s also the potential challenges
of embarrassing behavior demonstrated by
some that have partaken perhaps too heavily
in the festivities of the Fourth.
As I trudged along the beach that night,
I looked up at one point towards the turn-
around. There was smoke still rising from the
haze of literally hundreds of ﬁ res along the
beach as well as that ﬁ rework-sulfur smell
that I personally love.
The other volunteers and staff worked
around me, communicating on their radios
and cell phones at a pace that was dizzying.
Up on the prom, City of Seaside employees
worked to empty trash and clean up the heaps
of trash that had amassed.
In that moment I found great satisfac-
tion in looking at the American Flag that was
waving in the light and smoke of our city.
I felt profoundly grateful for the country in
which I live and this wonderful community,
where so many people work hard to help our
community and guests celebrate an amazing
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Save Our Seaside
Remember when Seaside was quaint —
idealistic — caring?
Do you agree that our town is no longer
that way due to the excessive vacation rental
dwellings plaguing each street? Do you
agree there are too many VRDs currently?
Should there be a cap?
Should the City Council/Planning Com-
mission put some clout in policing those
VRDs that run amok with too many people,
too many cars, blocking streets/driveways,
loud noises after 10 p.m., no respect to your
property or you, dogs unleashed, children not
controlled, yards unkempt?
The city does not have a compliance ofﬁ -
cer to enforce the rules and regulations.
There is no clout to penalize the owners of
the VRDs. Please, if you have something to
say regarding the abuse you have had where
your VRD complaints are ignored contact
I need your support to make those who
are in power listen to our pleas to allow
Seaside to be the comfortable town we all
choose to reside in and we are the ones who
continually support the local merchants ...
not the weekend wonders who come from
the Big City and trash us and our town.
Speak up, please, ASAP.
Contact Bonnie Woodman PO Box 1085,
Seaside, OR 97138
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