WDFW approves razor clam digs at Copalis and Mocrocks

Awaiting results of tests at Long Beach

Grays Harbor Newspaper Group

OLYMPIA – Washington’s fall razor clam season will get under way Friday, Oct. 14, at Copalis and Mocrocks as planned, but the status of Twin Harbors in that dig will depend on the results of one more marine toxin test.

Long Beach will remain closed to clam digging due to test results that show domoic acid levels that exceed the amount deemed safe under state health standards.

“This isn’t an ideal way to start a razor clam season, but public health has to be our first priority,” said Dan Ayres, coastal shellfish manager for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). “We’re hopeful that this condition will clear up soon.”

Ayres recent tests have found toxin levels at Twin Harbors meet state health standards, but the Washington Department of Health has asked for one more test to make sure. WDFW will announce the results of that test on Monday, Oct. 6.

Digs currently approved at Copalis and Mocrocks beaches will run Oct. 14-16 on evening tides. No digging will be allowed those days before noon. Evening low tides will be:

Oct. 14, Friday, 5:55 p.m.; 0.2 feet; Copalis, Mocrocks

Oct. 15, Saturday, 6:42 p.m.; -0.6 feet; Copalis, Mocrocks

Oct. 16, Sunday, 7:28 p.m.; -1.1 feet; Copalis, Mocrocks

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.

Last year, elevated levels of domoic acid forced state shellfish manager to cut short the spring razor clam season and delay the opening in fall. All ocean beaches in Oregon have been closed to razor clam digging since last month due to high levels of domoic acid, a natural toxin produced by certain types of marine algae.

Updates on razor clam seasons are posted on WDFW’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/.