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Razor Clamming Closed Along All of Washington Coast

Published 11/05/22 at 4:29 PM
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Razor Clamming Closed Along All of Washington Coast

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(Westport, Washington) – Domoic acid is finding its way all over the Pacific Northwest coastline, with the Washington coast now closed to razor clam harvesting as well as all the Oregon coast. The recreational razor clam season was postponed this week because of the naturally-occurring biotoxin, with shellfish managers from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) saying that includes what would've been the starting digs of November 6 through 13. (Above: photo courtesy WDFW)

Test results have come up with domoic acid levels too high or simply trending upwards, WDFW said. It's happened on just about all beaches along the Washington coast.

The Oregon coast recently shut down all razor clamming because of the biotoxin as well.

Razor Clamming Closed Along All of Washington Coast
Photo Oregon Coast Beach Connection

“Recent storms appear to have resulted in a rapid increase in razor clam toxin levels, which requires immediate closures to these affected beaches,” said Dan Ayres, WDFW coastal shellfish manager. “We’ll continue to work closely with our partners at WDOH to closely monitor razor clam toxin levels and reopen harvest as soon as clams are safe to eat.”

The biotoxin is produced naturally by some kinds of algae in the ocean. If eaten in sufficient quantities, it can be harmful and even fatal. You can see more about domoic acid, along with current levels at Washington coast beaches, at WDFW's webpage.

The agency continues testing on a regular basis to monitor biotoxin levels. Two test samples are taken 10 days apart, and when levels fall below the threshold WDFW will reinstate clam digging.

For now, the activity is closed until further notice.

For more information, go to the WDFW's razor clam webpage and the DOH webpage. The 2022-23 Razor Clam Management Plan is available on the WDFW’s website. To be notified of in-season rule changes as they are announced sign up for email notifications at wdfw.wa.gov/about/lists.

Along the Oregon coast, the clamming closure for entire region came just before the annual conservation closure in Seaside through Warrenton was about to reopen.


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Photo of Long Beach, Washington courtesy Eli Duke / Flickr

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