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WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE     Print Version
NEWS RELEASE
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091


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January 27, 2010
Contact: Dan Ayres (WDFW), 360-249-4628 ext. 209
Barb Maynes (ONP), 360-565-3005

Tests clear razor clam digs
at 4 of 5 ocean beaches

OLYMPIA - Twin Harbors beach will open for razor clam digging tomorrow (Jan. 28), followed by openings at three other beaches later this week after a new round of marine toxin tests showed the clams there are safe to eat.

Long Beach, however, will remain closed to digging due to high levels of paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) detected in the clams.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) delayed making a final decision on digs at Twin Harbors, Copalis and Mocrocks after high PSP levels were found at Long Beach.

The Olympic National Park also approved a dig scheduled at Kalaloch Beach, based on the results of a new round of marine toxin tests.

"We’re pleased that we can move forward with digs at these four beaches," said Dan Ayres, WDFW coastal shellfish manager.  "The latest tests showed that the clams there remain safe to eat."

Approved digging days for specific beaches are shown below, along with evening low tides:

  • Thursday, Jan. 28 (5:13 p.m., -1.1 ft.) – Twin Harbors

  • Friday, Jan. 29 (5:58 p.m., -1.5 ft.) – Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks

  • Saturday, Jan. 30 (6:41 p.m., -1.5 ft.) – Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks, Kalaloch

  • Sunday, Jan. 31 (7:23 p.m., -1.2 ft.) – Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks, Kalaloch

Ayres said toxin levels in clams dug last week at Long Beach violate health standards established by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, ruling out an opening at that beach.  PSP is a marine toxin produced by a certain type of algae (Alexandrium) that can cause paralysis and even death if consumed in sufficient quantities.

At the other beaches, harvesters may take no more than 15 razor clams and must keep the first 15 taken, regardless of size or condition. Each digger's limit must be kept in a separate container. All diggers must have an applicable 2009-10 fishing license to dig razor clams on any beach. A license is required for anyone age 15 or older. 

Anglers can buy a combination license or an annual shellfish/seaweed license. Also available are razor-clam only licenses in annual or three-day only versions. Descriptions of the various licensing options are available on the WDFW website at https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov . A list of state license vendors is available at http://wdfw.wa.gov/licensing/vendors/vendors

Beaches scheduled to open for razor-clam digging this week are: 

  • Twin Harbors Beach, which extends from the mouth of Willapa Bay north to the south jetty at the mouth of Grays Harbor. 
  • Copalis Beach, which extends from the Grays Harbor north jetty to the Copalis River, and includes the Copalis, Ocean Shores, Oyhut, Ocean City and Copalis areas. 
  • Mocrocks Beach, which extends from the Copalis River to the southern boundary of the Quinault Reservation near the Moclips River, including Iron Springs, Roosevelt Beach, Pacific Beach and Moclips. 
  • Kalaloch Beach, which extends from the South Beach Campground to Brown’s Point (just south of Beach Trail 3) in the Olympic National Park.