The next round of coastal razor clam digs have been set on four coastal beaches.
“We got good numbers on marine toxin test results for all beaches,” said Dan Ayres, the head state Fish and Wildlife coastal shellfish manager.
Digging will proceed during morning low tides on Wednesday (April 26) at Twin Harbors and Long Beach (low tide is minus-1.1 feet at 7:09 a.m.); Thursday (April 27) at Twin Harbors, Mocrocks and Long Beach (-1.5 at 7:55 a.m.); Friday (April 28) at Twin Harbors, Copalis and Long Beach (-1.8 at 8:42 a.m.); Saturday (April 29) at Twin Harbors, Mocrocks and Long Beach (-1.7 at 9:32 a.m.); Sunday (April 30) at Twin Harbors, Copalis and Long Beach (-1.3 at 10:24 a.m.); and Monday (May 1) at Long Beach (-0.8 at 11:20 a.m.).
As an added bonus, state fisheries increased the daily limit to 25 clams for Long Beach only. Diggers at Twin Harbors, Mocrocks and Copalis can take home 15 clams daily. Diggers are required to keep the first 15 clams (or first 25 clams at Long Beach) they dig. Each digger’s clams must be kept in a separate container.
The upcoming digs also coincide with the Long Beach Razor Clam Festival on Saturday and Sunday (April 29-30). Details: http://longbeachrazorclamfestival.com/.
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A red flag came up last week when a spike in marine toxin levels had state Fish and Wildlife officials cancelling two extra digging days at Long Beach on the southern coast.
“It makes us nervous anytime you see a rise in marine toxins,” Ayres said. “The recent levels came up a tick or two. We’re not concerned in the short term, but long term I don’t know.”
The concern wasn’t reflected in razor clam marine toxin levels as it was in what they saw in the water off the coast, which hasn’t been an issue since last October.
Domoic acid, a natural toxin produced by certain types of marine algae, can be harmful or even fatal if consumed in sufficient quantities. The toxin has wreaked havoc on coastal razor clams during the past couple of years.
State fisheries plans to do more testing right after the next digs to assess the situation and see if additional opportunities can occur next month.
The most recent digs from April 12-16 revealed 34,773 digger trips coast-wide yielded 475,019 razor clams.
From April 12-16, 18,228 diggers at Long Beach had 260,27 clams for 14.3 average (the first 15 clams dug regardless of size or condition is a daily limit); from April 12-16, 6,869 at Twin Harbors had 97,376 for 14.2; on April 13 and 15, 4,275 at Copalis had 53,442 for 12.5; and on April 14 and 16, 5,401 at Mocrocks had 63,474 for 11.8
The total since the season began on Oct. 14 showed 172,994 diggers coast-wide with 2,184,186 clams. A breakdown is 18,228 at Long Beach with 260,727 clams for 14.3 clam per person average; 50,279 at Twin Harbors with 645,335 for 12.8; 65,152 at Copalis with 785,855 for 12.1; 45,899 at Mocrocks with 507,436 for 11.1; and 637 at Kalaloch with 1,410 for 2.2.