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Digging for Clams is a Fun Oregon Coast Activity

The Oregon beaches and bays along the Pacific coast from North to South offer excellent opportunities for digging clams.  Clamming is a fun activity that the whole family can participate in and be successful.  The tools of the trade are pretty simple and you can find a whole clam dinner with even just a garden shovel or your hands if necessary.

What Do You Need:

  • A clam shovel or rake.  Longer shovel blades are good but a basic shovel will do.  Rakes that have long tines and are not spread to far apart.
  • If going for Razor clams many people like to use a clam gun which is a cylindrical tube that you press into the sand around where they are laying in the sand.
  • A collection device, tackle shops sell nice mesh bags, really anything will do, a 5 gallon bucket is what I tend to carry most of the time, especially if going for a short walk.
  • Boots or waders are ideal especially if you are clamming around the bays or shallow tide pool like areas where there is lower depressions that are full of water.
  • A tide table or go here to this website and enter your closest location, then the dates that you want to see the tide. Oregon Tide Tables
  • A valid shellfish license for the State of Oregon. For license and Clamming Regulations check out the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Clam Bucket with Limit

When the tide is close to 0 on the low tide or below is the best times to walk the bays and likely beaches for clams.  For most of the clams you can start digging and raking near the water and if there is clams in the area you will start to stumble on them.

After you get your catch, I was raised to let them sit in water with a little oatmeal and a bunch of the sand will get spit back out by the clam after a several hour soak, there may be other methods to clean them out a little before you cook them. Make a chowder, fritter, or any other delicious clam dinner and enjoy your hard work out digging in the sand.  They also can be great just tossed in boiling water for a few minutes till they pop open and then dipped in butter and garlic or any other tasty sauce and eaten just like that.

If you are interested in going clamming anywhere along the Oregon coast I suggest you check out this website with a long list of clamming stories and discussions about areas to go and try depending on the species of clam you like.

Clamming Info Below Crabbing