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Friday, February 23, 2024
Feb. 23, 2024

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Field Notes: Oregon’s Clatsop Beach open for clamming


Clatsop Beach on the north Oregon coast is open for razor clam digging on a daily basis after testing showed the clams are safe to eat.

Shellfish biologist Matt Hunter of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife found a large juvenile recruitment (new razor clams that establish themselves on the beaches) of 1.4 clams per square meter. The 20-year average is 0.75 clams with the highest in 2021 at 2.59 juvenile clams per square meter.

The majority of this year’s clams are juvenile and between three and four inches so clam digging should be above average or better this fall.

Once the juvenile clams begin to grow in the spring, digging in the spring of 2024 could be much more successful. Regardless, harvesters will need to focus on digging only the largest shows (larger than a nickel) to ensure a better chance of harvesting a larger clam.

Hunter believes the influx of juvenile recruitment is due to spring and early summer favorable winds pushing razor clam larvae on to Clatsop Beach rather than north to Washington, which is thought to have occurred in 2022.

Most years, Oregon sees razor clam spawning events in fall, in addition to the typical spring-summer spawning. Fall spawning can be an important component and in some years is the only juvenile recruitment.

Total razor clam (juvenile and mature) abundance is above the 1.32 average at 1.85 clams per square meter.

Washington, Oregon seek nominations for Columbia River fishing advisory groups

Fishery managers from Washington and Oregon are seeking nominations for advisors to fill positions on the recreational and commercial advisory groups that provide input on fishing seasons on the Columbia River.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) are accepting nominations for appointees to three-year terms on the Columbia River Commercial Fishing Advisory Group and Columbia River Recreational Fishing Advisory Group through Nov. 3. The new terms begin in January 2024 and end in December 2026.

The two groups meet two to four times a year to develop recommendations for salmon, steelhead, sturgeon and smelt fisheries.

The recreational advisory group focuses on recreational fisheries jointly managed by Washington/Oregon from Buoy 10 upstream to Highway 395 at Pasco. The commercial advisory group focuses on lower Columbia River commercial fisheries (mainstem and Select Areas).

Members are expected to participate within the North of Falcon season-setting process for salmon fisheries, Columbia River Compact/Joint State hearings and advisory group meetings.

Up to 20 applicants from Washington and Oregon will be chosen for each advisory group, representing a wide array of fishing interests.

Advisors will be selected based on their fishery experience, willingness to engage in the management process, geographic and diverse affiliation representation, and their ability to communicate with fishery managers and other organizations.

Individuals may self-apply or be nominated by a group or another individual; nominees must be willing to serve if selected. All nominations should be accompanied by a résumé for the nominee that includes the following:

  • Name, address, telephone number, and e-mail address of nominee, and if applicable the individual or organization submitting the nomination.
  • Description/listing of which Columbia River Basin fisheries (area and season) the nominee participates in, including the number of years the nominee has participated in each. Please note which fisheries are of specific interest.
  • Reasons the nominee wants to serve as an advisor.
  • Description of how the nominee intends to communicate information with other constituents in their local areas.
  • Affiliations to fishery-related organizations and/or guides/charters.

Nominations for Washington residents can be submitted by mail to WDFW Region 5 Ridgefield Office, 5525 South 11th Street, Ridgefield, WA 98642, or fax at 360-906-6776, or email to myrtice.dobler@dfw.wa.gov.

Nominations for Oregon residents can be submitted by mail to ODFW, 17330 S.E. Evelyn Street, Clackamas, OR 97015, or fax at 971-673-6072, or email to crista.a.gortmaker@odfw.oregon.gov.

Nominations must be received no later than Nov. 3.

Buffalo placed on Colville Reservation

Thirty buffalo have been released on the Colville Reservation between Keller Ridge and Buffalo Lake in north-central Washington.

The Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation said in a news release that 29 of the buffalo are cows and there is one bull. The animals are vaccinated and are a gift from the Kalispel Tribe, which had a surplus to use in stocking their reservation.

The U.S. Department of Interior announced in early September a $5 million initiative to support efforts by tribes to strengthen bison conservation and expansion.

The Colville Reservation is part of the historic range of bison, according to tribal Chairman Jarred-Michael Erickson.