LONG BEACH — Tests for domoic acid in razor clams on Dec. 29 and 30 were a close call for avid razor clam fans on the Long Beach Peninsula.
After a Dec. 15 result of 16 parts per million, the area needed additional tests about 10 to 14 days later to also be below 20 ppm. Follow-up tests last week found 11 ppm at a southern Peninsula site, 18 ppm in the middle and 19 ppm on the north end — the top permissible safe level.
In the Twin Harbors digging area that stretches from the mouth of Willapa Bay in Pacific County to the mouth of Grays Harbor, tests last week found 33 ppm on the south end and 18 ppm in the middle and north. Previous testing on Dec. 15 found 50 ppm. Because of the 33 ppm result just north of Willapa Bay, Twins Harbors remains closed to digging.
Twenty ppm — the safe level set by the Washington State Department of Health in 2000 — is considered a conservative and cautious threshold for clam harvests.