Weather Alert

Razor clam toxin tests continue to show elevated levels

Razor clam digs are on an indefinite pause as concerns of toxin levels continue.

Coastal Shellfish Manager Dan Ayres tells KXRO that no future razor clam dates will be announced until domoic acid levels in razor clams drop below certain levels. 

This announcement comes as the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife continues to test the local shellfish.

They say that this testing will continue every two weeks.

MARINE TOXIN UPDATE:

Listed below are the most recent marine toxin levels, as announced by the Washington Department of Health (WDOH). 

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 two required sample collections, that must be spaced 7 to 10 days apart. 

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

These samples were all collected on 01/11/2021. 

Long Beach Area E (north):

    •         domoic acid =   45 ppm
    •         PSP = none detected
    •         DSP = none detected

Twin Harbors Area CL (middle):

    •         domoic acid =   43 ppm
    •         PSP = none detected
    •         DSP = none detected

Copalis Area K (south)

    •         domoic acid =   28 ppm
    •         PSP = none detected
    •         DSP = none detected

Copalis Area XL (middle)

    •         domoic acid =   25 ppm
    •         PSP = none detected
    •         DSP = none detected

Copalis Area GS (north)

    •         domoic acid =   27 ppm
    •         PSP = none detected
    •         DSP = none detected

Mocrocks Area CP (middle)

    •         domoic acid =   36 ppm
    •         PSP = none detected
    •         DSP = none detected

Mocrocks Area MP (north)

    •         domoic acid =   25 ppm
    •         PSP = none detected
    •         DSP = none detected

 Officials say, as they reported in December, razor clams are following the historical pattern of slowly depurating (losing) domoic acid.

“We also are observing the levels “bounce around” some, as they have in past events. This is a result the individual 12 clams we harvest when we are collecting samples. The toxin “load” can vary greatly between individual clams. The laboratory protocol requires the clams to be cleaned and then the meat from all 12 (per area) are blended together. Then a sample of that mixture is analyzed and one result is reported for that area. “

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 clam every two week, WDFW together in a partnership with  the ORHAB (Olympic Region Harmful Algal Bloom) continue on-going observations of the surf zone phytoplankton assemblages. 


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