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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

January 25, 2014 at 11:08 AM

Marine toxins remain very low on coastal razor clam beaches

photo (36)Marine toxin levels remain well below the cutoff range or nonexistent on all coastal razor clam beaches. 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 Jan. 24. 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, listed below are the most recent marine toxin levels, as announced by the Washington Department of Health (WDOH) on Jan. 24. This is the second of two rounds of razor clam samples required by WDOH before any recreational razor clam opener.

As noted, these samples are all below the action level for domoic acid, Paralytic Shellfish Poison (PSP) and Diarrhetic Shellfish Poison (DSP). As a result, WDOH has allowed WDFW to proceed with this razor clam harvest opener.

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 collected Jan. 21; only razor clam meat tissue is tested.

Long Beach Reserve

  • Domoic acid =  2 ppm
  • PSP = none detected
  • DSP = none detected

Twin Harbors

  • Domoic acid =  2 ppm
  • PSP = none detected
  • DSP = none detected

Copalis

  • Domoic acid =  2 ppm
  • PSP = none detected
  • DSP = none detected

Mocrocks

  • Domoic acid =  2 ppm
  • PSP = none detected
  • DSP = 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.html.

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The next coastal razor clam digs are Tuesday, Jan. 28 at Twin Harbors; Wednesday, Jan. 29 at Twin Harbors and Long Beach; Thursday, Jan. 30, Friday, Jan. 31 and Sunday, Feb. 2 at Twin Harbors, Long Beach and Mocrocks; and Saturday, Feb. 1 at Twin Harbors, Long Beach, Mocrocks and Copalis. Digging is open from noon to midnight each day.

The most recent digs Jan. 15-18 produced mixed results depending on the beach.

“The first two nights at Twin Harbors was excellent, but the last two nights digging success dropped off considerably,” Ayres said.

At Long Beach, 2,009 diggers on Jan. 17-18 harvested 16,146 clams for 8.0 per person average; at Twin Harbors, 2,520 from Jan. 15-18 had 34,147 for 13.6; and at Mocrocks, 1,385 on Jan. 17-18 had 14,301 for 10.3.

Since the season began Sept. 19, 174,356 diggers took home more than 2.4-million razor clams during 55 digging days for a 13.6 average at Long Beach; 14.2 at Twin Harbors; 14.1 at Copalis; and 14.6 at Mocrocks.

Ayres expects digging to improve in this next round with better low tides and the surf is expected to calm down.

Diggers can take 15 the first razor clams dug regardless of size or condition. Each digger must keep their clams in their own containers or buckets.

Another series of digs are planned at the end of next month, and more digs are also expected later in spring and will switch to morning low tides during daylight hours.

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