Clam digs this weekend will alternate beaches

Clam digs have been approved for this weekend, with openings alternating between and Copalis beaches for three days.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife approved the opening on the 2 beaches following toxin tests, but a planned dig at has been canceled after test results showed elevated levels of domoic acid, said Dan Ayres, coastal shellfish manager.

Domoic acid has posed an ongoing problem for shellfish fisheries along Washington’s coast since 2015.

“Unfortunately, toxin levels spiked again at Twin Harbors, prompting us to cancel this opening there,” Ayres said. “We’ll continue to monitor toxin levels at all our ocean beaches and hope to offer some digging dates for Twin Harbors and Long Beach as soon as clams are safe to eat.”

Diggers should be aware that only one beach – either Mocrocks or Copalis – will be open each day of the upcoming dig, Ayres said.

Maps of the beaches can be found on WDFW’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/razorclams/current.html.

The upcoming dig is approved on the following beaches, dates and evening low tides:

  • March 24, Friday, 5:01 p.m.; 0.5 feet; Mocrocks
  • March 25, Saturday, 5:44 p.m.; 0.2 feet; Copalis
  • March 26, Sunday, 6:24 p.m.; 0.0 feet; Mocrocks

WDFW also has tentatively scheduled a four-day dig on morning tides that alternates open days between Mocrocks and Copalis beginning March 30. Final approval of that dig depends on the results of an upcoming toxin test.

Shellfish managers have been alternating open dates between the two beaches to maximize the number of days available this season.

Under state law, diggers at open beaches can take 15 razor clams per day and are required to keep the first 15 they dig. Each digger’s clams must be kept in a separate container.

All diggers age 15 or older must have an applicable 2016-17 fishing license to harvest razor clams on any beach. Licenses, ranging from a three-day razor clam license to an annual combination fishing license, are available on WDFW’s website at https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov and from license vendors around the state.

 

MARINE TOXIN UPDATE: 

Listed below are the most recent marine toxin levels, as announced by the Washington (WDOH) on March 21, 2017.

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 ppm 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.

The following samples collected on March 16, 2017

Twin Harbors Area XH (north):
·                  domoic acid =  15 ppm
·                  PSP = ·                  DSP = none detected
Twin Harbors Area CL (middle):
·                  domoic acid =  13 ppm
·                  PSP = ·                  DSP = none detected
Twin Harbors Area G (south):
·                  domoic acid =  21 ppm
·                  PSP = ·                  DSP = none detected
Copalis Area XL (middle)
·                  domoic acid =  6 ppm
·                  PSP = ·                  DSP = none detected
Mocrocks Area CP (middle)
·                  domoic acid =  3 ppm
·                  PSP = ·                  DSP = none detected
The following samples collected on March 12, 2017

Long Beach Area E (north):

•            domoic acid =  5 ppm
•            PSP = 40 µg/100g
•            DSP = none detected

Long Beach Area OY (middle):

•            domoic acid =  9 ppm
•            PSP = •            DSP = none detected

Long Beach Area XA (middle):

•            domoic acid =  7 ppm
•            PSP = < 38 µg/100g
•            DSP = none detected

Long Beach Area A (south):

•            domoic acid =  5 ppm
•            PSP = < 38 µg/100g
•            DSP = none detected

This data (including a historical graph) will also be posted to our web site at: http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/razorclams/domoic_levels.html

 

 

Photo property of Jones Photo Historical Collection

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