The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has announced an immediate postponement of the recreational razor clam season, including digs from Sunday, Nov. 6, to Sunday, Nov. 13. The postponement came after test results indicated a spike in domoic acid levels, according to a WDFW news release.
“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 (the Department of Health) to closely monitor razor clam toxin levels and reopen harvest as soon as clams are safe to eat.”
Domoic acid is a natural toxin produced by some types of marine algae. It can be fatal if consumed in sufficient quantities.
WDFW staff will continue to test samples to monitor domoic acid levels. The Washington Department of Health requires two test samples taken 10 days apart to fall under health guideline levels before a beach can reopen for digging. WDFW will announce future razor clam digging opportunities when marine toxin tests have returned to safe levels.