Trust the Science?

Razor Clam Enthusiasts, below is an update from Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife (WDFW). As you can see, we continue to wait (and wait) for domoic acid in razor clams to drop to safe levels that will then lead to an approved clam dig. Let’s see what happens.

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MARINE TOXIN UPDATE:

Listed below are the most recent marine toxin levels, as announced by the Washington Department of Health (WDOH).  To see previous results, see the web link below.

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. The results must also show a declining trend between samples.

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

Long Beach Area E (north): Collected 4/21/21

·                     domoic acid =   31 ppm

·                     PSP = none detected

·                     DSP = none detected

Twin Harbors Area XH (middle): Collected 4/22/21

·                     domoic acid =   26 ppm

·                     PSP = none detected

·                     DSP = none detected

Twin Harbors Area CL (middle): Collected 4/22/21

·                     domoic acid =   28 ppm

·                     PSP = none detected

·                     DSP = none detected

Twin Harbors Area G (middle): Collected 4/22/21

·                     domoic acid =   11 ppm

·                     PSP = none detected

·                     DSP = none detected

Copalis Area XK (middle): Collected 4/26/21

·                     domoic acid =   21 ppm

·                     PSP = none detected

·                     DSP = none detected

Copalis Area XL (middle): Collected 4/26/21

·                     domoic acid =   21 ppm

·                     PSP = none detected

·                     DSP = none detected

Copalis Area GS (north): Collected 4/26/21

·                     domoic acid =   15 ppm

·                     PSP = none detected

·                     DSP = none detected

Mocrocks Area BC (south): Collected 4/26/21

·                     domoic acid =   20 ppm

·                     PSP = none detected

·                     DSP = none detected

Mocrocks Area CP (middle): Collected 4/26/21

·                     domoic acid =   11 ppm

·                     PSP = none detected

·                     DSP = none detected

Mocrocks Area MP (north): Collected 4/26/21

·                     domoic acid =   12 ppm

·                     PSP = none detected

·                     DSP = none detected

We were getting excited about a possible opening at Twin Harbors and collected clams from the required three areas on 4/22. However, as you can see below, that will not be possible and no future razor clam dates can 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. 

The Acid Test

Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife (WDFW) has just released domoic acid test results for razor clam beaches. Trends are looking favorable for razor clam enthusiasts.

The test results appear below.

In a communication to recipients of the test results, Dan Ayers, Coastal Shellfish Manager for WDFW, noted: “We were hoping that today’s razor clam domoic acid results would allow us to open Mocrocks. However, as you can see below, no future razor clam 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.”

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

Long Beach Area E (north): Collected 4/15/21

·                     domoic acid =   26 ppm

·                     PSP = none detected

·                     DSP = none detected

Twin Harbors Area CL (middle): Collected 4/15/21

·                     domoic acid =   11 ppm

·                     PSP = none detected

·                     DSP = none detected

Copalis Area XK (middle): Collected 4/13/21

·                     domoic acid =   26 ppm

·                     PSP = none detected

·                     DSP = none detected

Copalis Area XL (middle): Collected 4/13/21

·                     domoic acid =   30 ppm

·                     PSP = none detected

·                     DSP = none detected

Copalis Area GS (north): Collected 4/13/21

·                     domoic acid =   20 ppm

·                     PSP = none detected

·                     DSP = none detected

Mocrocks Area BC (south): Collected 4/18/21

·                     domoic acid =   1 ppm

·                     PSP = none detected

·                     DSP = none detected

Mocrocks Area CP (middle): Collected 4/18/21

·                     domoic acid =   27 ppm

·                     PSP = none detected

·                     DSP = none detected

Mocrocks Area MP (north): Collected 4/18/21

·                     domoic acid =   20 ppm

·                     PSP = none detected

·                     DSP = none detected

Surf Zone Phytoplankton Assemblages

Say what?… Below is the “Ides of March” update from Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). We continue to keep you updated with the best information on recreational razor clamming in WA State.

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RECREATIONAL RAZOR CLAM UPDATE, March 15, 2021: The most recent razor clam domoic acid test results look a little more encouraging than what we have seen to date. The details are below. However, no future razor clam dates will be announced until domoic acid levels in razor clams drop below the action level. We plan to collect the next set of samples at the end of March and will have a clearer picture then if any digging might occur in April or May.

MARINE TOXIN UPDATE:

Listed below are the most recent marine toxin levels, as announced by the Washington Department of Health (WDOH).  To see previous results, see the web link below.

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. The results must also show a declining trend between samples.

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

Long Beach Area E (north): Collected 3/10/21

·                     domoic acid =   26 ppm

·                     PSP = none detected

·                     DSP = none detected

Twin Harbors Area CL (middle): Collected 3/10/21

·                     domoic acid =   31 ppm

·                     PSP = none detected

·                     DSP = none detected

Copalis Area XL (middle): Collected 3/10/21

·                     domoic acid =   22 ppm

·                     PSP = none detected

·                     DSP = none detected

Mocrocks Area CP (middle): Collected 3/10/21

·                     domoic acid =   19 ppm

·                     PSP = none detected

·                     DSP = none detected

Over-all, Washington razor clams 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 clam every two week, WDFW together with our colleagues in the ORHAB (Olympic Region Harmful Algal Bloom) partnership continue on-going observations of the surf zone phytoplankton assemblages.