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razor dug in
Razor Clam Research

 

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Razor clam research

ODFW Marine Resource Program (MRP) Astoria office shellfish staff began annual razor clam stock assessment research in 2004 on the Clatsop Beaches. This is the first program of its kind in Oregon.

Accurate assessments of razor clam populations will help ODFW understand and manage razor clams in the future.

Where

18 miles of beaches from the mouth of the Columbia to Seaside– 95 percent of the states razor clamming effort is in this area.

Transects are chosen randomly on an annual basis from each mile of the Clatsop beaches.

where its done
Where research is done

When

Throughout the spring and summer months, when tides are at their lowest.

Because sampling starts 2 hours before peak low tides, it's not unusual to start in the moonlight.

 

 When its done
When research is done

How

Transects and times are selected, next is the survey

Walking up the beach along the transect, biologists determine the elevation of the highest razor clam show.

Sampling begins 50 feet above the “high show”.

Six points are sampled either North or South (chosen randomly) of each elevation line down to the water line at low tide.

transect map
Transect map - click image to see larger

Sampling example

Sampling
Some early morning sampling
floating clam
Each sample point is liquefied to 4 feet causing clams within the sample to float
clam measurement
Clams are counted and measured

 

results of beach sample
Results of sampling
Razor dug in
Finally they are replaced with their umbo towards the ocean to dig back in.

Results!

Results

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