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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

December 28, 2013 at 10:38 AM

Marine toxin levels still very low on coastal razor clam beaches as more digs begin Sunday

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All is good on the coastal beaches for razor clam digging, and marine toxin levels remain well below the cutoff range or nonexistent.

Those digging dates are Sunday, Dec. 29, minus-0.2 feet at 4:05 p.m. at Twin Harbors, Long Beach, Mocrocks and Copalis; Monday, Dec. 30, -0.9 at 4:55 p.m. at Twin Harbors, Long Beach, Mocrocks and Copalis; Tuesday, Dec. 31, -1.4 at 5:42 p.m. at Twin Harbors, Long Beach, Mocrocks and Copalis; Wednesday, Jan. 1, -1.7 at 6:29 p.m. at Twin Harbors, Long Beach and Mocrocks; Thursday, Jan. 2, -1.7 at 7:15 p.m. at Twin Harbors, Long Beach and Mocrocks; Friday, Jan. 3, -1.4 at 8 p.m. at Twin Harbors, Long Beach and Mocrocks; Saturday, Jan. 4, -0.9 at 8:45 p.m. at Twin Harbors, Long Beach, Mocrocks and Copalis; and Sunday, Jan. 5, -0.2 at 9:31 p.m. at Twin Harbors. Digging is open from noon to midnight each day.

More digs are also planned Jan. 17-18, Jan. 30-31, Feb. 2 and Feb. 27-28 at Twin Harbors, Long Beach and Mocrocks; Feb. 1 at Twin Harbors, Long Beach, Mocrocks and Copalis; Jan. 29 at Twin Harbors and Long Beach; and Jan. 15-16, Jan. 28 and Feb. 26 at Twin Harbors.

Barring any marine toxin issues diggers should see excellent digging now and well into spring time.

Listed below are the most recent marine toxin levels, as announced by the state Department of Health (DOH) on Dec. 21. This is the second of two rounds of razor clam samples required by DOH before any recreational razor clam opener.

All samples are below the action level for both domoic acid and PSP and DOH has allowed state Fish and Wildlife to proceed with razor clam harvest openers.

According to Dan Ayres, the head state Fish and Wildlife coastal shellfish manager, recall before a beach can be opened for the harvest of razor clams, DOH protocol requires that all razor clam samples collected from that beach must test under the action level  of 20 parts per million (ppm) for domoic acid and 80 µg/100g for PSP on both of the two required sample collections.

In the results below, you will see values for a third marine toxin, okadaic acid. This is a toxin that is produced by a surf zone dinoflagellate from the genus Dinophysis. These cells have been observed in coastal surf zone water samples by the state’s harmful algae monitoring project.

As result, the DOH has added screening for the presence of okadaic acid to the tests conducted on razor clam tissue sampled prior to any razor clam opener. The action level for okadaic acid is 16 µg/100g.

High levels of Okadaic acid in shellfish tissue can produce Diarrhetic Shellfish Poisoning or DSP.

For more details regarding okadaic acid and DSP, go to http://www.doh.wa.gov/CommunityandEnvironment/Shellfish/BiotoxinsIllnessPrevention/Biotoxins/DiarrheticShellfishPoisoning.aspx

Note that in all of these samples; only razor clam meat tissue is tested.

Long Beach Reserve

Domoic acid =  3 ppm

PSP = none detected

Okdaic  acid = none detected

Twin Harbors Area

Domoic acid =  3 ppm

PSP = none detected

Okadaic  acid = none detected

Copalis Area

Domoic acid =  4 ppm

PSP = none detected

Okadaic  acid = none detected

Mocrocks Area

Domoic acid =  3 ppm

PSP = none detected

Okadaic  acid = none detected

For more information on razor clams, including how seasons are set, population sampling techniques and how to dig, clean and cook razor clams, go to http://wdfw.wa.gov/fish/shelfish/razorclm/razorclm.htm

 

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