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State Fish and Wildlife decided early this week not to open Twin Harbors beaches for razor clam digging, which was supposed to start Friday (Oct. 28).

Samples of razor clams showed the levels of domoic acid had exceeded the action level set by state health standards.

Testing is done for domoic acid – a natural toxin produced by certain types of marine algae – that can be harmful or even fatal if consumed in sufficient quantities.

State Fish and Wildlife will monitor toxin levels on all Washington beaches, and the next openings are set to occur Nov. 12-19 at Twin Harbors, and Nov. 17-19 at Copalis and Mocrocks. Final approval hinges on additional marine toxin tests that usually occur the week prior to the openers.

Listed below are the most recent marine toxin levels provided by Dan Ayres, the head state Fish and Wildlife coastal shellfish manager, as announced by the Washington Department of Health (WDOH).

Before a beach can be opened for the harvest of razor clams, WDOH protocol requires two clean samples of clams collected from that beach must test under the action level of 20 parts per million (ppm) for domoic acid; 80 µg/100g for Paralytic Shellfish Poison (PSP); and 16 µg/100g for Diarrhetic Shellfish Poisoning (DSP) on both of the two required sample collections.

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

Long Beach Reserve (north) – Oct. 12:
Domoic acid, 19 ppm
PSP, none detected.
DSP, none detected.

Long Beach Area OY (middle) – Oct. 12:
Domoic acid, 18 ppm
PSP, <38 µg/100g
DSP, none detected.

Long Beach Area XA (south) – Oct. 12:
Domoic acid, 24 ppm
PSP, none detected.
DSP, none detected.

Long Beach Area A (south) – 10/19/16:
Domoic acid, 16 ppm
PSP, none detected.
DSP, none detected.

Twin Harbors Area XH (north) – Oct. 19:
Domoic acid, 15 ppm
PSP, <38 µg/100g
DSP, none detected.

Twin Harbors Area CL (middle) – Oct. 19:
Domoic acid, 14 ppm
PSP, <38 µg/100g
DSP, none detected.

Twin Harbors Area G (south) – Oct. 19:
Domoic acid, 18 ppm
PSP, <38 µg/100g
DSP, none detected.

Twin Harbors Area XH (north) – Oct. 23:
Domoic acid, 21 ppm
PSP, none detected.
DSP, none detected.

Twin Harbors Area CL (middle) – Oct. 23:
Domoic acid, 13 ppm
PSP, none detected.
DSP, none detected.

Twin Harbors Area G (south) – Oct. 23:
Domoic acid, 24 ppm
PSP, none detected.
DSP, none detected.

Copalis – Oct. 4:
Domoic acid, 4 ppm

Mocrocks – Oct. 4:
Domoic acid, 5 ppm