Recreational razor clam fishing in Del Norte County has been given the green light by the Director of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) following a recommendation from state health agencies. They have determined that consuming razor clams in the area no longer poses a significant risk of domoic acid exposure.
The razor clam fishery in Del Norte County had been closed since November 2022 due to concerns about domoic acid levels. Throughout the closure, state health agencies continued to monitor the domoic acid levels in razor clams. While the clams consistently exceeded the federal action level of ? 20 parts per million (ppm) for domoic acid, recent tests conducted on clams collected from Point Saint George in June 2023 showed concentrations below this action level.
Domoic acid is a toxin that can cause poisoning in humans if consumed through affected seafood. Symptoms range from vomiting and diarrhea to more severe effects such as permanent loss of short-term memory (Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning), coma, or even death. It is important to note that there is no way to remove the toxin through cooking or freezing.
It is worth mentioning that the razor clam fishery remains closed in Humboldt County. Health agencies are actively monitoring domoic acid levels in razor clams in order to determine when it will be safe to reopen the recreational razor clam fishery in that area.
The CDFW would like to remind clammers that the daily bag limit for razor clams is 20, and the first 20 clams that are dug must be retained regardless of their size or condition. In odd-numbered years, the fishery is open north of Battery Point in Crescent City, Del Norte County. It is important for each individual to keep a separate container for their clams and not mix them with those of others when digging and transporting them to shore.
As the recreational razor clam fishery reopens in Del Norte County, clammers are advised to stay informed about any updates or changes and to follow the regulations and guidelines provided by the CDFW and health agencies. Happy clamming!