Razor clam digging closed for the season on 3 beaches; Dig at Mocrocks depends on toxin tests

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WDFW NEWS RELEASE
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091

http://wdfw.wa.gov/

May 4, 2017
Contact
: Dan Ayres, (360) 249-4628

Razor clam digging closed for the season on 3 beaches;
Dig at Mocrocks depends on toxin tests

OLYMPIA – Three of Washington’s ocean beaches will remain closed to razor clam digging for the rest of the season while a potential dig at Mocrocks depends on additional toxin tests.

Test results on razor clams dug at both Long Beach and Twin Harbors beaches indicate levels of domoic acid exceed the threshold (20 parts per million) set by state public health officials, said Dan Ayres, coastal shellfish manager for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). 

“Based on the most recent toxin tests, razor clams will not be safe to eat for the remainder of the month at Long Beach or Twin Harbors,” Ayres said. 

Toxin levels at Copalis beach are below the health threshold. However, the beach will remain closed because diggers reached the number of harvestable razor clams for the season there, Ayres said.

State shellfish managers will consider scheduling an opening at Mocrocks later in May, depending on the results of two toxin tests, Ayres said. The first test results indicate levels at Mocrocks are just below the threshold. A second test is scheduled for next week.

“It’s possible toxin levels at Mocrocks will remain low enough to allow another dig there,” Ayres said. “But we need to see what the next results show before scheduling an opening.” 

The department likely will make an announcement next week on whether there will be another dig at Mocrocks this season.

WDFW routinely closes the razor clam fishery by the end of May when the clams begin to spawn. The next season will begin in fall, when the older clams have recovered from spawning and a new generation begins to grow beneath the sand.

Domoic acid, a natural toxin produced by certain types of marine algae, can be harmful or even fatal if consumed in sufficient quantities. The toxin has posed problems for razor clam and crab fisheries along Washington’s coast for the last two years.

More information about domoic acid, as well as current levels at all ocean beaches, can be found on WDFW’s webpage at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/razorclams/domoic_acid.html.

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2016 Coastal Razor Clam Updates

From:  Dan L. Ayres   |   Coastal Shellfish Manager  

SEASON UPDATE:  Washington recreational razor clam harvest will open in January 2016. Below are the opening dates, the time of the evening low tides and the beaches that are included:

.             January 7, Thursday, 4:57 p.m.; 0.1 feet, Long Beach

.             January 8, Friday, 5:37 p.m.; -0.4 feet, Long Beach, Copalis

.             January 9, Saturday, 6:16 p.m.; -0.8 feet, Long Beach, Copalis

.             January 10, Sunday, 6:55 p.m.; -1.0 feet, Long Beach

.             January 11, Monday, 7:34 p.m.; -1.0 feet, Long Beach

.             January 12, Tuesday, 8:14 p.m.; -0.8 feet, Long Beach

.             January 13, Wednesday, 8:56 p.m.; -0.4 feet, Long Beach

.             January 14, Thursday, 9:40 p.m.; 0.2 feet, Long Beach

 

Please note that the Copalis razor clam beach includes, Ocean Shores, Oyhut, Ocean City and the Copalis areas. The Long Beach razor clam beach includes Seaview, Cranberry, Klipsan , Ocean Park and Oysterville.

 A description of each beach and a map can be found at:http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/razorclams/

BEACHES THAT REMAIN CLOSED INCLUDE:

Mocrocks Beach (just north of Copalis); which includes Iron Springs, Roosevelt Beach, Seabrook, Pacific Beach and Moclips).

Twin Harbors Beach; which includes Westport, Grayland and North Cove

For details go to the following web link: http://www.wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/razorclams/current.html

 MARINE TOXIN UPDATE:

 Listed below are the most recent marine toxin levels, as announced by the Washington Department of Health (WDOH) on January 4, 2016.

This is the second of two rounds of Long Beach and Copalis razor clam samples required by WDOH before any recreational razor clam opener. As you can see, the Long Beach and Copalis samples are all below the action level for domoic acid, Paralytic Shellfish Poison (PSP). As a result, WDOH has allowed WDFW to proceed with this Long Beach and Copalis razor clam harvest opener. Testing will continue on Long Beach Copalis and if toxin levels remain low, additional digging will be scheduled on these beaches later in January. Details will be forthcoming.

This is the first of two rounds of Mocrocks razor clam samples required by WDOH before any recreational razor clam opener. As you can see, the Mocrocks samples are all below the action level for domoic acid, Paralytic Shellfish Poison (PSP) and Diarrhetic Shellfish Poison (DSP). As a result, IF the next round of samples (scheduled for collection  before the end of the year) test below the action level, WDFW will announce tentative dates for a razor clam dig on Mocrocks in January – likely around the good tides near January 22, 2016. More details will be forthcoming.

 Domoic acid levels at Twin Harbors remain consistently above the action level. Testing will continue on this beach, but we have no prediction when digging might open.

 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.

 These samples were collected on either 12/29/15 or 12/30/15

 Long Beach Reserve (north):

domoic acid =  19 ppm

PSP = none detected

DSP = pending (expected to be very low)

Long Beach Area XA (middle):

domoic acid =  18 ppm

PSP = none detected

DSP = pending (expected to be very low)

Long Beach Area A (south):

domoic acid =  11 ppm

PSP = none detected

DSP = pending (expected to be very low)

Twin Harbors Area XH (north):

domoic acid =  18 ppm

PSP = none detected

DSP = pending (expected to be very low)

Twin Harbors Area CL (middle):

domoic acid =  18 ppm

PSP = none detected

DSP = pending (expected to be very low)

Twin Harbors Area G (south):

domoic acid =  33 ppm

PSP = none detected

DSP = pending (expected to be very low)

Copalis Area GS (north)

domoic acid =  18 ppm

PSP = none detected

DSP = pending (expected to be very low)

Copalis Area XL (middle)

domoic acid =  8 ppm

PSP = none detected

DSP = pending (expected to be very low)

Copalis Area XK (south)

domoic acid =  13 ppm

PSP = none detected

DSP = pending (expected to be very low)

 

Mocrocks Area MP (north)

domoic acid =  18 ppm

PSP = none detected

DSP = pending (expected to be very low)

Mocrocks Area CP (middle)

domoic acid =  13 ppm

PSP = none detected

DSP = pending (expected to be very low)

Mocrocks Area BC (south)

domoic acid =  7 ppm

PSP = none detected

DSP = pending (expected to be very low)

 This data can also be found on our web site at: http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/razorclams/domoic_levels.html

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

 

http://www.nwfsc.noaa.gov/hab/

 Dan L. Ayres   |   Coastal Shellfish Manager  

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife   |   Region Six

48 Devonshire Road   |   Montesano, WA 98563   |   USA

Office: (360) 249-4628 (ext. 209)   |   Mobile: (360) 470-3557

FAX: (360) 249-1229   |   WDFW Radio Call Sign W-758

 

WDFW approves razor clam digs at Copalis and Long Beach

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OLYMPIA – State shellfish managers have approved razor clam digs starting later this week at Long Beach and Copalis Beach.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) confirmed the digs after marine toxin tests showed the clams on those two beaches are safe to eat. All other beaches remain closed to recreational razor clam digging.

Digs at both beaches are on evening tides and include a two-day opening (Jan. 8 and 9) at Copalis and an eight-day dig (Jan. 7 to 14) at Long Beach.

“The season opener at Copalis over the Christmas holiday was a huge success with most diggers filling their limits,” said Dan Ayres, coastal shellfish manager for WDFW.
“We’re excited that we can open Long Beach for the first time this season.”

Razor clam digging will remain closed on Washington’s other coastal beaches until domoic acid levels drop below the threshold (20 parts per million) set by state public health officials.

Domoic acid posed a problem for shellfish fisheries along Washington’s coast for much of 2015. The natural toxin produced by certain types of marine algae can be harmful or even fatal if consumed in sufficient quantities. Cooking or freezing does not destroy domoic acid in shellfish.

WDFW is continuing to monitor toxin levels on all Washington beaches and will open other areas as soon as clams are safe to eat.

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

  • Jan. 7, Thursday, 4:57 p.m.; 0.1 feet, Long Beach
  • Jan. 8, Friday, 5:37 p.m.; -0.4 feet, Long Beach, Copalis
  • Jan. 9, Saturday, 6:16 p.m.; -0.8 feet, Long Beach, Copalis
  • Jan. 10, Sunday, 6:55 p.m.; -1.0 feet, Long Beach
  • Jan. 11, Monday, 7:34 p.m.; -1.0 feet, Long Beach
  • Jan. 12, Tuesday, 8:14 p.m.; -0.8 feet, Long Beach
  • Jan. 13, Wednesday, 8:56 p.m.; -0.4 feet, Long Beach
  • Jan. 14, Thursday, 9:40 p.m.; 0.2 feet, Long Beach

Ayres noted the best digging usually occurs one to two hours prior to low tide.

Under state law, diggers 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 2015-16 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.

More information about razor clams is available on WDFW’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/razorclams/current.html.

Marine toxins delay razor clam digs this fall

OLYMPIA – Elevated levels of marine toxins have prompted state shellfish managers to postpone the start of razor clam digging on ocean beaches this fall.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will not schedule razor clam digs on any of the state’s ocean beaches until tests show the clams are safe to eat.

Domoic acid levels on Washington beaches have dropped significantly since last spring, when the department was forced to curtail digging early, said Dan Ayres, coastal shellfish manager for WDFW. However, concentrations of domoic acid are still above the threshold (20 parts per million) set by state public health officials.

“If levels continue to decline, we could potentially open some beaches in mid or possibly late November,” Ayres said.

WDFW will continue to work with the Washington Department of Health to monitor regularly marine toxin levels in razor clams, Ayres said. Test results are posted on WDFW’s webpage at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/razorclams/domoic_levels.html.

“We know diggers are anxious to get out onto the beaches, but public health is our primary concern,” Ayres said.

Domoic acid, a natural toxin produced by certain types of algae, can be harmful or even fatal if consumed in sufficient quantities. Cooking or freezing does not destroy domoic acid in shellfish.

Since 1991, when the toxin was first detected on the Pacific coast, outbreaks of domoic acid have prompted the cancellation of three entire razor clam seasons in Washington – the last one in 2002-03.

Any new information about razor clam digging will be posted on WDFW’s razor clam webpage at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/razorclams/current.html.

Eight days of razor clam digging begin Jan. 17

OLYMPIA – State fishery managers have given the OK for a second razor clam dig this month, this one scheduled from Jan. 17 through Jan. 24 on evening tides at various ocean beaches.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) approved the eight-day dig after marine toxin tests showed the clams are safe to eat.

Low afternoon tides the first few days will allow diggers to hit the beaches in daylight, said Dan Ayres, WDFW coastal shellfish manager. The best digging typically occurs one to two hours before low tide. No digging is allowed at any beach before noon.

Ayres noted the dig includes the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday on Jan. 19, providing an excellent opportunity to sneak away to the coast for a long weekend of clamming.

Under state law, diggers are required to keep the first 15 clams they dig. Each digger’s clams must be kept in a separate container.

Digging has been approved on the following dates, beaches and low tides:

  • Jan. 17, Saturday; 4:15 p.m., 0.1 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks and Copalis
  • Jan. 18, Sunday; 5:02 p.m., -0.6 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Jan. 19, Monday; 5:47 p.m., -1.1 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • Jan. 20, Tuesday; 6:30 p.m., -1.4 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • Jan. 21, Wednesday; 7:13 p.m., -1.4 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • Jan. 22, Thursday; 7:56 p.m., -1.1 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • Jan. 23, Friday; 8:40 p.m., -0.6 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Jan. 24, Saturday; 9:25 p.m., 0.1 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks and Copalis

WDFW also has proposed another dig in late January, tentatively set to begin Jan. 30 if marine toxin tests are favorable. That dig is tentatively scheduled on the following dates, beaches and low tides:

  • Jan. 30, Friday; 3:43 p.m., 0.5 feet Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Jan. 31, Saturday; 4:32 p.m., 0.2 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks and Copalis
  • Feb. 1, Sunday; 5:15 p.m., 0.0 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Feb. 2, Monday; 5:53 p.m., -0.1 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • Feb. 3, Tuesday; 6:27 p.m., -0.1 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • Feb. 4, Wednesday; 6:59 p.m., 0.0 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • Feb. 5, Thursday; 7:30 p.m., 0.2 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • Feb. 6, Friday; 8:00 p.m., 0.5 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors

All diggers age 15 or older must have an applicable 2014-15 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.

WDFW has razor clam recipes as well as advice on digging and cleaning clams on its webpage at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/razorclams/ .

razor_clam_digging_shawn_calkins_2015_westport_washington

WDFW tentatively schedules razor clam digs through Dec. 31

OLYMPIA – The first razor clam dig of the season is tentatively scheduled next month with additional digs planned through New Year’s Eve.

In announcing the initial digging schedule, state fishery managers emphasized that final approval of all scheduled openings will depend on results of marine toxin tests that show the clams are safe to eat.

“We’re announcing this proposed schedule to give people time to makes plans,” said Dan Ayres, coastal shellfish manager for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). “However, none of the digs are confirmed until we announce the results of the toxin tests.”

During the first set of digs, scheduled Oct. 7 through Oct. 12, both Twin Harbors and Long Beach will be open all six days, with additional harvest opportunities at Mocrocks and Copalis. Through the end of the year, WDFW has tentatively scheduled a total of 41 days of razor clam digs.

Beach surveys indicate an average razor clam population at Copalis this year while Twin Harbors, Long Beach and Mocrocks show excellent numbers of clams, Ayres said.

“Overall, there are a lot of clams out there and we expect this to be another great season,” he said.

Under state law, diggers 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. Diggers may not harvest any part of another person’s daily limit, unless they possess a designated harvester card.

Razor clam diggers age 15 or older must have an applicable 2014-15 fishing license to harvest razor clams on state beaches. Fishing licenses of various kinds are available on the department’s website at https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov and from license vendors around the state. A new WDFW video, which demonstrates how to teach your kids to harvest razor clams, is available at http://youtu.be/gl9p_PparVk .

WDFW recently sought public comments on the upcoming razor clam season. Ayres said he appreciates that so many people sent in comments.

“We have done our best to incorporate as many of those suggestions as possible in the months ahead,” Ayres said.

Below is the schedule of proposed razor clam digs, along with evening low tides and beaches:

  • Oct. 7, 2014, Tuesday; 6:26 p.m., -0.5 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • Oct. 8, 2014, Wednesday; 7:13 p.m., -0.9 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • Oct. 9, 2014, Thursday; 7:58 p.m., -1.1 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • Oct. 10, 2014, Friday; 8:43 p.m., -1.1 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Oct. 11, 2014, Saturday; 9:28 pm, -0.8 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks, Copalis
  • Oct. 12, 2014, Sunday; 10:15 p.m., -0.3 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Oct. 22, 2014, Wednesday; 6:31 p.m., 0.3 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • Oct. 23, 2014, Thursday; 7:07 p.m., -0.1 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • Oct. 24, 2014, Friday; 7:44 p.m., -0.4 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Oct. 25, 2014, Saturday; 8:22 p.m., -0.6 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks, Copalis
  • Oct. 26, 2014, Sunday; 9:03 p.m., -0.6 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Oct. 27, 2014, Monday; 9:47 p.m., -0.4 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • Oct. 28, 2014, Tuesday; 10:36 p.m., -0.2 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • Nov. 4, 2014, Tuesday; 4:26 p.m., -0.1 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • Nov. 5, 2014, Wednesday; 5:14 p.m., -0.7 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • Nov. 6, 2014, Thursday; 5:59 p.m., -1.1 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • Nov. 7, 2014, Friday; 6:42 p.m., -1.2 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Nov. 8, 2014, Saturday; 7:24 p.m., -1.1 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks, Copalis
  • Nov. 9, 2014, Sunday; 8:05 p.m., -0.7 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Nov. 10, 2014, Monday; 8:47 p.m., -0.3 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • Nov. 11, 2014, Tuesday; 9:31 p.m., 0.2 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • Nov. 20, 2014, Thursday; 5:06 p.m., 0.0 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • Nov. 21, 2014, Friday; 5:45 p.m., -0.5 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Nov. 22, 2014, Saturday; 6:24 p.m., -0.8 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks, Copalis
  • Nov. 23, 2014, Sunday; 7:05 p.m., -1.0 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Nov. 24, 2014, Monday; 7:47 p.m., -1.1 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • Nov. 25, 2014, Tuesday; 8:32 p.m., -0.9 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • Nov. 26, 2014, Wednesday; 9:19 p.m., -0.5 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • Dec. 3, 2014, Wednesday; 4:14 p.m., -0.1 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • Dec. 4, 2014, Thursday; 5:02 p.m., -0.6 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • Dec. 5, 2014, Friday; 5:45 p.m., -0.9 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Dec. 6, 2014, Saturday; 6:26 p.m., -1.0 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks, Copalis
  • Dec. 7, 2014, Sunday; 7:05 p.m., -0.9 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Dec. 8, 2014, Monday; 7:44 p.m., -0.6 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • Dec. 9, 2014, Tuesday; 8:21 pm, -0.2 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • Dec. 19, 2014, Friday; 4:41 p.m., 0.0.feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Dec. 20, 2014, Saturday, 5:23 p.m., -0.6 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks, Copalis
  • Dec. 21, 2014, Sunday, 6:06 p.m., -1.1 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Dec. 22, 2014, Monday, 6:48 p.m., -1.3 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • Dec. 23, 2014, Tuesday, 7:31 p.m., -1.3 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • Dec. 31, 2014, Wednesday, 3:05 p.m., 0.6 feet, Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks, Copalis