State Fish and Wildlife could announce approval of the next round of coastal razor clam digs as soon as Thursday (Feb. 15).
If approved digging will be open Feb. 24-26 at Copalis, Mocrocks and Twin Harbors. Digging is open during evening low tides only.
Long Beach remains closed due to elevated levels of domoic acid – a natural toxin produced by certain types of marine algae – that can be harmful or even fatal if consumed in sufficient quantities.
More digs at Copalis and Mocrocks are also scheduled for March and April, and specific digging dates could be announced by Thursday too. Those digs will switch to morning low tides.
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Digs during that period for Twin Harbors and Long Beach won’t be made until additional marine toxin testing is conducted.
The coastal razor clam digs during the last opener were good at Twin Harbors and Mocrocks (open Feb. 7-12), and Copalis (open Feb. 7-9).
“Overall 18,000 digger trips produced 210,000 clams so it averaged to about 12 clams per person (the first 15 clams dug regardless of size or condition is a daily limit),” said Dan Ayres, the head state Fish and Wildlife coastal shellfish manager. “Weather as always played a part of success during those digs too.”
Ayres said the first two days (Feb. 7-8) of the digs were very productive, and then effort dropped off when weather was dicey on Feb. 9.
By last weekend (Feb. 10-12) success improved although diggers on the northern end of Mocrocks struggled, which was puzzling to fishery officials.