LONG BEACH and OCEAN PARK — As the calendar continues counting down toward the end of razor clam season and the start of snowy plover nesting season in early May, the Long Beach Peninsula once again has marine-toxin test results just a little too high to allow digging.
In tests on Feb. 6, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife found safe levels of the marine toxin domoic acid in three of the Peninsula’s four testing sites, and a slightly elevated level of 21 parts per million in a clam meat sample from midway up the beach. All four test sites must be 19 ppm or lower before a season is allowed by the Washington State Department of Health.
Since the one sample was so close to being OK, more tests were conducted Feb. 13. The results were still too high. A level of 39 ppm was obtained at the northern-most Peninsula site compared to 16 ppm the week before; 19 ppm at the next site down compared to 18 ppm on Feb. 6; 17 ppm compared to the 21 ppm result; and 19 ppm in the far south compared to 15 ppm.
“Both the samples collected on February 6 and the samples collected on February 13 still show one area over the action level. We will continue to collect clams for testing from Long Beach, but it remains hard to predict when we will be able to open this beach,” WDFW Coastal Shellfish Manager Dan Ayres said Thursday.
Toxin levels continue to be within safe limits just to our north. The Twin Harbors beach in north Pacific and south Grays Harbor counties will be open for digging from Feb. 23 through Feb. 28.
More specific details about that opening:
• Feb. 23, Thursday, 4:42 p.m.; 0.3 feet; Twin Harbors
• Feb. 24, Friday, 5:21 p.m.; -0.1 feet; Copalis, Mocrocks, Twin Harbors
• Feb. 25, Saturday, 5:58 p.m.; -0.3 feet; Copalis, Mocrocks, Twin Harbors
• Feb. 26, Sunday, 6:34 p.m.; -0.4 feet; Copalis, Mocrocks, Twin Harbors
• Feb. 27, Monday, 7:11 p.m.; 0.3; Twin Harbors
• Feb. 28, Tuesday, 7:48 p.m.; 0.0; Twin Harbors