Summer days are the getaway days for families on the go – perhaps to set out on a camping trip or a stream side picnic lunch. I recently discovered along the Oregon coast, it’s also a chance to try something entirely new.

On this Grant’s Getaway, all you need is a rake, a bucket and a spirit of adventure to try raking bay clams along the Oregon coast. Summer mornings along the coast are often met by folks in hip boots with shovels or rakes – but they’re not there to work, rather they’ve come to play; especially on a minus low tide on Tillamook Bay at a place where clamming is king.

There are six species of bay clams found in Oregon’s estuaries. Four are most popular for the rake and shovel crowd; they are called “Steamers,” “Butters,” “Gapers” and our clam of choice, “Cockles.”

Each clam-raker is allowed twenty cockles and must carry his/her own container and an Oregon shellfish license that costs $6.50 is required of each clammer 14 years and older.

I think that the best part of this recreation is that even the littlest ones can do it and have some success – it offers a little bit of mud or sand, a whole lot of estuary water, but there are lots of clams.

Recipe for Seafood Getaway Chowder (pdf)

Oregon Shellfish regulations (pdf)

about author Grant McOmie

Grant McOmie is a Pacific Northwest broadcast journalist, teacher and author who writes and produces stories and special programs about the people, places, outdoor activities and environmental issues of the Pacific Northwest. A fifth generation Oregon native, Grant’s roots run deepest in the central Oregon region near Prineville and Redmond where his family continues to live.


In this Grant’s Getaway

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These maps and directions are for planning purposes only. You may find that construction projects, traffic, or other events may cause road conditions to differ from the map results. For travel options, weather and road conditions, visit, call 511 (in Oregon only), 800.977.6368 or 503.588.2941.

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