No License Required This Weekend For Shellfish

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NEWPORT – Can you dig it? Yes you can! With some of the lowest tides of the year and Oregon’s Free Fishing Weekend, it’s a great time to try your hand at harvesting clams.

Free Fishing Weekend, June 7 and 8, is your opportunity to try fishing, clamming and crabbing anywhere in the state, without having to buy a license. We hope you’ll discover a sport that you’ll want to do again and again. If you have a friend who’s never fished before, this is your opportunity to introduce him or her to a great outdoor activity.

A minus tide series with the lowest tides of the year happens this week. June 4 and 5 will have tides of -3.0 near Newport, the lowest of the year. Friday is almost as low at a -2.7 shortly after 9 a.m. Saturday and Sunday have low tides of -2.1 and -1.3 around 10 a.m. and 10:45.

To find out how and where to dig clams or drop a crab trap, check out the recreational shellfishing pages on the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Web site at They contain everything you need to know for identifying and harvesting Oregon’s shellfish.

Here are a few good clamming areas along the Oregon coast:

  • Alsea Bay: Cockle, softshell clams
  • Coos Bay: Gaper, cockle, softshell, butter and littleneck clams
  • Coquille River near Bandon: Softshell clams
  • Nehalem Bay: Softshell clams
  • Nestucca Bay: Softshell clams
  • Netarts Bay: Gaper, butter, cockle, littleneck, razor
  • Suislaw River, near Florence: Softshell, gaper, pittock, cockle clams
  • Tillamook Bay, Gaper, littleneck, butter, cockle, razor, softshell clams
  • Umpqua River: Gaper, softshell clams
  • Yaquina Bay: Gaper, cockle, butter, softshell clams

The recreational harvest of all shellfish, including all clams and mussels, is open coast wide but harvesters should check for current closures on the ODA shellfish safety page at or call the shellfish hotline, 503-986-4728 or 1-800-448-2474. Waters can be closed on short notice because of contaminated waters due to coastal flooding and because of elevated levels of naturally occurring toxins.