Mocrocks is one step closer to being able to open for razor clam digging.
In the latest update from Coastal Shellfish Manager Dan Ayres, he notes that all three testing sites on the Mocrocks beach have tested below the action level for domoic acid in the first of two required tests.
In order for Mocrocks, or any beach to open to digging, marine toxin in razor clam meat must be below the required action level set by the Washington Department of Health (WDOH).
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 two required sample collections, that must be spaced 7 to 10 days apart. The results must also show a declining trend between samples.
In the latest results, the three Mocrocks testing sites were at 19, 15, and 12 ppm.
“The Mocrocks razor clam domoic acid levels tests are all the action level. THIS IS THE FIRST OF TWO REQUIRED SETS OF TESTS.”
The Long Beach, Twin Harbors, and Copalis beaches are all showing tests above the allowable levels.
Long Beach Area E (north): Collected 4/28/21
Twin Harbors Area CL (middle): Collected 4/30/21
Copalis Area XK (middle): Collected 5/3/21
Copalis Area XL (middle): Collected 5/3/21
Copalis Area GS (north): Collected 5/3/21
Mocrocks Area BC (south): Collected 5/3/21
Mocrocks Area CP (middle): Collected 5/3/21
Mocrocks Area MP (north): Collected 5/3/21
No dates will be announced until domoic acid levels in razor clams drop below the action level in two sets of consecutive tests, at least 7 days apart. We will be collecting samples every seven days (as low tides allow) with the hope that some beach may be able to open soon. As always, we will not be looking for harvest opportunities after May 31. This provides razor clam populations the summer to spawn and then recover from spawning, insuring the future of this important resource.
“As we have been saying, re-opening this fishery after a long domoic acid closure has always been frustrating. continue to follow the historical pattern of slowly depurating (losing) domoic acid and for the last several months we have observed the levels “bounce around” considerably. As we have previous described, this is a result the individual 12 clams we randomly harvest when we are collecting samples. However, the report above shows some nice declines on all beaches. If you are interested, you can check out the historical domoic acid data at the link below.”
These results and the historical record of domoic acid events can be found at: https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/basics/domoic-acid/levels (click on “show historical data” and then hover your curser over the data points for more detail).
Along with sampling collecting razor clams regularly, WDFW together with our colleagues in the ORHAB (Olympic Region Harmful Algal Bloom) partnership continue on-going observations of the surf zone phytoplankton assemblages.