Long Beach Razor Clam Tox Test Results Due Tuesday

Though Shoreline is a long way from Washington’s razor clam beaches, diggers will want to keep their eyes out for news from this Seattle suburb tomorrow about a potential Long Beach opener.

If results from the state health lab there are good, we could see digging green-lighted at Long Beach for the first time in a year.

A WDFW GRAPH SHOWS LEVELS OF TOXIC DOMOIC ACID IN RAZOR CLAMS AT LONG BEACH. TWENTY PARTS PER MILLION, THE BLACK DASHED LINE, IS CONSIDERED THE ACTION LEVEL FOR CLOSING DIGGING, OR OPENING IT IF WE GET TWO SUCCESSIVE READINGS BELOW IT. (WDFW)

The key is for the sample of 12 razor clams that were collected yesterday, cleaned and put into a blender, and now are undergoing testing by high-performance liquid chromatography to ring up a reading of less than 20 parts per million of domoic acid.

If they do, that would be the second test in a row that would meet state health standards, and WDFW shellfish manager Dan Ayres in Montesano said he could be looking at a midweek opener.

And in almost the same breath Ayres warns that we were at this very same point just a month ago, when a March 12 test result showed just 9.0 ppm at the state’s longest strand, but then the follow-up came in at 21.0.

He termed it “frustrating” that the razor clams haven’t cleared the domoic acid they picked up last September from their systems to allow an opener. With digging wrapping up in May, time’s running short for one.

By somewhere around this time on Tuesday, we’ll know if it’s a go for this week, or if we’re back to square one.

Fingers crossed!

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