Thanks to Daylight Savings Time, Oregon Coast residents and visitors get an extra hour of low tides during daylight which is great for clamming! The South Oregon coast, home to numerous bays, is the ideal destination for recreational diggers and we expect tides to be ideal for clamming well into spring, summer and even fall!
“Clamming is a glorious adventure with delicious results,” says Seattle-based food and travel writer, Melissa A. Trainer in this article for The Oregonian. “And when it comes to eating local, it doesn’t get any better.”
If West Coast clamming is one of the experiences on your bucket list, this is the place and now is the time to do it. The low tides commonly found from Empire to Charleston make our region one of the top destinations for clam digging. Oregon’s south coast has a particularly diverse selection of clam species found around the bay including gaper, cockle, littleneck, softshell and butter.
Think you are up for this culinary adventure? Here’s what you need to know-
Clams can be harvested all year on our coast, but ODFW does require a license which ranges from $7-$20.50. Click here to get your license.
Some of the best advice you will receive will probably come from one of the fishing experts at one of our local bait and tackle stores. They can tell you when the best time of day to dig would be based on the tides. They can also help you make sure you have the right equipment- a bucket, a shovel (can be rented or borrowed) and/or a tube a.k.a. a “clam gun”.
Clamming is messy- it’s just part of the fun. You will get dirty and that’s ok. Waterproof high boots are ideal (usually can be found in Walmart or any sports store). And every Oregonian knows the weather can change in a matter of moments, here- so it’s better to dress in layers.
Watch this video to learn the basics of digging:
Rob of Basin Tackle in Charleston, OR demonstrates how to clean once you’ve caught them:
For details, changes and more information, we encourage you to check directly with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. Their web site is: www.dfw.state.or.us.