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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

January 31, 2015 at 10:18 AM

Coastal razor clam season marches on a high note, and likely will carry into spring

11razor2013The coastal razor clam season continues to be a banner one with no end in sight, and its likely diggers will be able to head to beaches clear into spring.

Digging is open at Long Beach and Twin Harbors from Saturday (Jan. 31) through Feb. 6; Mocrocks is open Saturday (Jan. 31) and Sunday (Feb. 1); and Copalis will be open Saturday (Jan. 31) only. Digging is allowed each day from noon to midnight only.

Low tides: Jan. 31, 0.2 at 4:32 p.m.; Feb. 1, 0.0 at 5:15 p.m.; Feb. 2, minus-0.1 at 5:53 p.m.; Feb. 3, -0.1 at 6:27 p.m.; Feb. 4, 0.0 at 6:59 p.m.; and Feb. 5, 0.2 at 7:30 p.m.

Another proposed dig is set for Feb. 15-22 at Long Beach and Twin Harbors; Feb. 20-22 at Mocrocks; and Feb. 21 at Copalis.

Dan Ayres, the head state Fish and Wildlife coastal shellfish manager who’s been digging all this great so to speak says the department hopes to announce March dates soon after the February digs, and offer additional digging that’ll coincide with the Ocean Shores Razor Clam Festival on March 20-22 (www.oceanshores.org).

Ayres is also hopeful that digging will go well into April and May.

The most recent digs from Jan. 17-24 saw 7,085 diggers at Long Beach with 104,176 clams for an average of 14.7 clams per person (the first 15 clams regardless of size or condition is a daily limit); 6,142 at Twin Harbors with 78,302 for 12.7; 2,404 at Copalis on Jan. 17 with 29,344 for 12.2; and 4,247 on Jan. 17-18 with 53,521 at Copalis for 12.6.

Since the season began on Oct. 7 a total of 147,770 diggers took home more than 1.9-million razor clams. The season average is 12.8 at Long Beach; 13.3 at Twin Harbors; 12.2 at Copalis; and 13.2 at Mocrocks.

Here is a rundown on the latest marine toxin testing conducted by the Washington Department of Health (WDOH):

(Listed below are the most recent marine toxin levels, as announced by the WDOH on Jan. 23. This is the second of two rounds of razor clam samples required by WDOH before any recreational razor clam opener. As you can see, 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.)

Recall, before a beach can be opened for the harvest of razor clams, WDOH protocol requires that all razor clam samples collected from that beach must test under the action level (20 parts per million for domoic acid; 80 µg/100g for PSP; and 16 µg/100g for DSP) on both of the two required sample collections. Note that in all of these samples; only razor clam meat tissue is tested. These samples were all collected on January 21, 2015.

Long Beach Reserve

Domoic acid = 1 ppm

PSP = None detected

DSP = 1 µg/100g

Twin Harbors Area CL (middle)

Domoic acid = 1 ppm

PSP = none detected

DSP = 1 µg/100g

Copalis Area XL (middle)

Domoic acid = 1 ppm

PSP = none detected

DSP = 1 µg/100g

Mocrocks Area BC (south)

Domoic acid = <1 ppm

PSP = none detected

DSP = 1 µg/100g

For more information on razor clams, including how seasons are set, population sampling techniques and how to dig, clean and cook razor clams please see the following link:

http://wdfw.wa.gov/fish/shelfish/razorclm/razorclm.htm

For more information on marine toxins and other harmful algal blooms, see the following links:

http://wdfw.wa.gov/conservation/research/projects/algal_bloom/index.html        http://www.doh.wa.gov/CommunityandEnvironment/Shellfish/BiotoxinsIllnessPrevention/Biotoxins/AmnesicShellfishPoisoning.aspx

 

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