Did you know clamming in Oregon is an activity that you can do all year round? Clamming is a fun family activity suited to all generations, and Tillamook County’s four bays provide ample opportunity for clamming success.
There are five different species of bay clams that can be obtained from these estuaries, including:
- Gaper clams
- Butter clams
- Cockle clams
- Littleneck clams
- Soft-shell clams
Nehalem and Nestucca Bays provide the best opportunities for harvesting soft-shell clams, while Tillamook and Netarts Bays provide an excellent opportunity to extract all five of these common bay clams. Tillamook Bay provides a unique opportunity for clamming in Oregon to secure a few cockle clams as well.
Here’s how you do it. Use clam tongs to harvest your own clams and shellfish. These are meant to be used from a boat in about ten feet of water (or the length of the tongs, whichever is less). They work as scissors and scrape the sand on the bottom of the ocean floor, digging just a couple of feet down to uncover clams. The clams are then trapped in the metal toothed-grid.
You could also try using a scratch rake while clamming in Oregon. A scratch rake is meant to be used in water that is waist high (or shallower). You simply rake the bay floor and uncover clams. Be sure to bring a floating bucket for your catch.
This old-school method requires no equipment. You simply feel the ocean floor with your feet and search for clams. As you dig with your feet a few inches below the ocean floor and feel clams or shellfish, simply bend down and pick them up!
The Tillamook Coast offers wonderful opportunities for clamming in Oregon. Come join us!