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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

January 27, 2010 at 8:54 PM

All coastal beachs except for Long Beach will be open for razor clam digging

Coastal razor clam diggers are breathing a sigh of relief after state Fish and Wildlife approved digging on four beaches.

Last week, Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP), a marine toxin, had gone above the cutoff threshold at Long Beach, which canceled the dig there.

Testing taken on Tuesday at other beaches were still below the cutoff so digging will proceed at Twin Harbors from Thursday to Sunday, Mocrocks and Copalis will be open Friday to Sunday, and Kalaloch will be open Saturday and Sunday. Digging is allowed between noon and midnight each day.

PSP is a marine toxin produced by a certain type of algae that can cause paralysis and in some cases can lead to death if consumed in sufficient quantities.

PSP had been detected in clams on the Oregon coast where beaches had been closed since December.

No coastal beaches have been closed to razor-clam digging because of elevated PSP levels since 1993, Ayres said. A different marine toxin, domoic acid, prompted a season-long closure in 2002-03.

More testing on clams will be conducted in the weeks to come, and if clams are safe for eating then more digs will occur next month.

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