- Newport is The Largest Fishing Port in Oregon 115 Million Lbs. Fish & Shellfish in 2017.
- Razor Clamming at Agate, North & South Beach.
- Weather, Heavy Seas, Shifting Sand Drift and Bars Effect Razor Populations.
- 2018 Was Fair, 2019 Better, Expecting 2020 to Be a Good Year.
- Good Results Requires Low Tide of -1.5 or Better (surf clamming even more).
- Easiest Beach Access at South Beach, Best Razor Clamming Spot Agate Beach.
- Newport Aquarium, Nye Beach, Agate Beach, Historic Bay Front, Marinas, Charters, Restaurants, Hotels.
Agate Beach, North Beach, South Beach Razor Clamming
Razor Clamming here can be good. However, it is important to note that some years can be drastically different then others. When determining if a beach might have razor clams, the first thing you look for is fine sand. Then the slope of the beach (less is is better, steep is bad). Then how much the weather can push the sand around on the beach. Here in Newport, the sand is perfect, the slope is a little less then ideal. But, on some years weather can rearrange the sand on the beach dramatically. This makes it very difficult for the razor clam larvae to bury into the sand and grow.
So by going on a very low tide you can make up for the beach slope. However, nothing can fix the weather rearranging the sand. Consequently, its hard to know when your going to have a good year or bad. In 2018 you needed to be bale to clam in the surf to limit out. 2019 you could get them in the surf and on the wet sand but you needed a -2.0 low tide. Basically, the clamming here is good, it will just never be as good as the Clatsup Spit and Long Beach areas.
The spot I most often frequent is the Agate Beach State Park location.
Yaquina Bay is one of the three deep draft coastal ports in Oregon along with the Port of Coos Bay and the Port of Astoria. Its not just a commercial and recreational fisherman’s hot spot but a popular tourist location too. It offers the Newport Aquarium, Nye Beach, Agate Beach, Newport’s Historic Bay Front, Multiple Marinas, RV Resort, Deep Sea Charters, many excellent Restaurants and Hotels to choose from. Here visitors while shopping and eating also stop and watch the loading and unloading of fish processing plants located along the water front. There is something for everyone in Newport!
Yaquina Bay Clamming
This is an excellent place to go bay clamming. All you have to do is find the Rouge Ale Brewery on the south side of the bridge and your in the right spot. The one thing about clamming under the bridge is you will need a low tide of -1.0 or better. Cockles are easy to rake right under the bridge and gapers are about 100 yards west of there. There is even a public cleaning station set up for you to clean you fish, crabs and clams.
There is another large clam bed east of there. Just follow SE 35th Street out to the bay. It is muddier here but there is a good population of cockle and gaper clams. Don’t take the most western entrance because its a long muddy hike. Follow 35th Street down further until a few hundred yards before the point (here you will see a camper and RV site). Still a muddy hike (a few hundred yards) out on the bay for the best clamming.
There are many other areas, some require a boat, others are not as accessible. You can even find very private and accessible spots but much further inland.
Yaquina Bay Crabbing
You have many options for crabbing but I recommend renting a boat if you can. I’ve crabbed here a lot and have had good results anytime of year when using a boat. I prefer summer and fall because I’m a fair weather crabber and lower rainfall helps keep the bay salty and crabs happy. You can rent boats in two locations; 1) Newport Marina Store & Charter; 2) Embarcadero Hotel.
With your crab max, ring, or crab pot you have public access right on the Bay Front at Bay Street Pier and Abbey Street Pier. Many people tie there pot to the pier and go and have lunch. I like the the ever popular Rogue Brewery Pier which extends a few hundred yards out into the bay. Dungeness crab are particularly abundant here during summer and fall months, with red rock crab available the rest of the year.
Information provided is a result of personal experience at each bay or beach location. In addition, local residences providing input and advice, and ongoing information from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife websites. Information will change as incoming seas tend to shift and move sand, after that it makes it harder for clams to reproduce. So always check for current beach closures and advisories related to biotoxins, pollution or other human health concerns the same day you plan to harvest. Razorclamming.com is not responsible for the accuracy of this data and the outcome or results of your personal efforts, or safe consumption of shellfish.
Shellfish Safety Hotline
635 Capitol St NE
Salem, OR 97301
Alt Phone: 503-986-4728