In nearly every Oregon estuary, some species of bay clams can be found. However, abundances and variety of species is different for each bay depending on a number of factors. Size and shape of the bay are the most critical factors.
Tidal exchange, salinity, species ranges, and substrates also weigh heavily.
This map outlines areas that are most commonly accessed by recreational diggers. Before heading out, be sure to have your shellfish license, a copy of the regulations (either paper or online), and check the tides.
Summary of bay clam availability by area:
Header photo by Max Ray, Creative Commons
The areas around Bandon, on the Coquille River, have productive softshell beds. The areas near Bandon Marsh National Wildlife refuge...
Lower Yaquina bay is “marine dominated” meaning there is little freshwater influence, and offers many shellfishing oppurtunities.