The razor clam dig slated to start Friday at Twin Harbors has been cancelled due to elevated marine toxin levels.
A test dig was done last Friday and WDFW had planned to release their findings Tuesday. However, word came down Monday that the amount of domoic acid, a natural toxin produced by marine algae that can be harmful or even fatal if consumed in sufficient quantities, has reached levels deemed hazardous by the Department of Health.
“We’re disappointed to have to cancel this week’s opening but we can’t take chances when public health is at stake,” said Dan Ayres, coastal shellfish manager for WDFW. Digging remains closed at Long Beach.
Domoic acid levels started to increase along Washington’s southern coast, at Long Beach, just before the first opening this fall. Recent testing indicates that domoic acid levels are on the rise further north, at Twin Harbors.
The next dig is scheduled to start Nov. 12 with potential digging opportunities on four ocean beaches. Final approval will depend on the results of toxin tests that will occur about a week before the dig is scheduled to begin.
“We’re hopeful that toxin levels will drop and allow us to open ocean beaches to digging later this season,” Ayres said.