Razor Clams closed due to Toxins


Seeking Kodak Moments
May 17, 2011
Shelton, WA Mason
Greg Eastman
Kodak II - Arima SL 22
October 27, 2020
Contacts: Zachary Forster 360-214-0555;
Jason Wettstein (360) 704-0258
Oct. 31-Nov. 3 razor clam digs cancelled due to marine toxins
OLYMPIA--Washington's ocean beaches will remain closed to razor clam harvest through at least Nov. 12 after test results on razor clams dug at Long Beach indicate levels of domoic acid that exceed the threshold (20 parts per million) set by state public health officials for safe consumption.
WDFW managers have cancelled digs previously anticipated for Oct. 31- Nov. 3 and await additional test results prior to announcing whether digs tentatively scheduled for Nov. 13-19 and beyond can move forward.
WDFW has already seen significantly higher than normal participation on recent digs. To avoid concentrating clam diggers and disproportionately increasing the risk of COVID-19, razor clam beaches are closed statewide--though only Long Beach clams exceeded safe concentrations of domoic acid levels so far.
“We know how important these opportunities are to Washington citizens and coastal communities, and we’re looking to reopen as soon as it’s safe to do so,” said Larry Phillips, WDFW’s coastal region director. “Yet, we also know that these toxins have a tendency to hang on – it's not inconceivable that we’ll have to wait until December before we’re clamming again. When that time comes, we’re still going to need people to practice good social distancing behaviors as they visit coastal communities.”
“Fortunately, we planned well, consulted communities and opened earlier in September,” said Philips. “What that means is razor clam diggers have already made more than 80,000 trips and harvested nearly 1.2 million clams this year.”
Domoic acid, a natural toxin produced by certain types of marine algae, can be harmful or even fatal if consumed in sufficient quantities. More information about domoic acid, as well as current levels at ocean beaches, can be found on WDFW's domoic acid web page.
Tentative Digs
Razor clam managers with the agency previously announced tentative digs through December, providing opportunities to dig while maintaining social distancing.
Final approval of tentatively scheduled openings depends on results of marine toxin tests conducted by Washington’s Department of Health (DOH).
Public health officials will also be closely monitoring COVID-19 infection rates throughout the digging season, and WDFW may make in-season adjustments to the schedule if necessary to reduce public health risks.
The tentative razor clam digs through December, along with low tides and beaches, are listed below:
• Nov. 13, Friday, 4:58 pm, -0.3; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
• Nov. 14, Saturday, 5:45 pm, -1.3; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
• Nov. 15, Sunday, 6:32 pm, -1.7; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
• Nov. 16, Monday, 7:19 pm, -1.8; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
• Nov. 17, Tuesday, 8:06 pm, -1.6; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
• Nov. 18, Wednesday, 8:56 pm, -1.1; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
• Nov. 19, Thursday, 9:47 pm, -0.5; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks

• Dec. 1, Tuesday, 7:14 pm, -0.4; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
• Dec. 2, Wednesday, 7:51 pm, -0.4; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
• Dec. 3, Thursday, 8:30 pm, -0.3; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
• Dec. 4, Friday, 9:12 pm, -0.1; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks

• Dec. 12, Saturday, 4:44 pm, -0.8; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
• Dec. 13, Sunday, 5:32 pm, -1.4; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
• Dec. 14, Monday, 6:19 pm, -1.7; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
• Dec. 15, Tuesday, 7:05pm, -1.7; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
• Dec. 16, Wednesday, 7:50 pm, -1.5; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
• Dec. 17, Thursday, 8:35 pm, -1.0; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
• Dec. 18, Friday, 9:21 pm, -0.4; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
• Dec. 28, Monday, 5:43 pm, -0.2; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
• Dec. 29, Tuesday, 6:20 pm, -0.5; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
• Dec. 30, Wednesday, 6:57 pm, -0.7; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
• Dec. 31, Thursday, 7:34 pm, -0.7; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
No digging is allowed before noon during digs when low tide occurs in the afternoon or evening.
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Once you go Cat, you never go back
Sep 15, 2008
Olympia, WA
2021 Allied WildCat 30
Toxins or Covid? WDFW should stay in their lane. If cities want restrictions, cities can attempt to institute them, not WDFW. Next up, people on ATVs are causing accidents, so WDFW closes elk seasons...


Jun 9, 2012
ShillCreek, WA USA
Mr. Buttercup
The WA state dept of health, Pacific and Grays Harbor counties Health Districts ordered it. The way the law is written, WDFW has to enforce the the public health directives.

Looking at the spikes in demoic acid at Long Beach and Twin Harbors in the last 2 weeks is alarming. I spent a lot of time on phone w WDFW shellfish biologists today. This spike is unprecedented as the weather gets colder. What is concerning too is the last time there was a rapid spike in DA levels like this it killed off the razor clams at Long Beach.

What I don't agree with is gov Inslee directing the closure of the North Beaches at the urging of the Quinault Nation, who will be digging, on beaches which as of yesterday, have not had a spike in DA levels. Inslee is doing this to keep people from congregating on the North beaches. He said he has to make sure people arent allowed to violate social distancing mandates. That sucks.


Someday I'll live the dream.
Mar 4, 2009
Tacoma/Westport WA/USA
28' Farallon Walkaround "Paragon"
I can’t be the only one who has observed tribal shell fishing being performed on beaches that were otherwise closed for “health reasons”
Long Beach is the only area that the toxin spiked over the "safe" threshold. Grayland spiked a bit but not over the threshold. It's weird, I grew up down there and we hit the clam tides a lot. Never heard of the the toxin back then....I'm still alive, Mom is still alive and will hit 100 this coming February. I'm not so sure about the so called toxin. The two sides of Grays Harbor are being closed because of the so called COVID fears of too many people packing on the beach....in the open air it's BS. No COVID fears for the tribal fishers since no one will be there. What a misguided mess but it is what it is.

Hunter Dan

I Post A Lot But I Can't Edit This
Jun 30, 2011
Domoic Acid wasn't quantified until recently, true, but its effects have been embedded into popular culture for longer than I've been alive. The amnesiac symptoms in sea birds off the California coast was the inspiration for Alfred Hitchcock's classic The Birds.
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Too Sirius
  • Aug 13, 2012
    Redmond Wa
    24' North River O/S. SIRIUS FISHIN
    Now it’s closed until December
    they cant tell that the whole month is contaminated
    clearly this is about keeping city folk off the coast for COVID reasons without rolling back phases
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