The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Director has re-opened the recreational razor clam fishery in Del Norte County (PDF)(opens in new tab) following a recommendation from state health agencies that the consumption of razor clams in the area no longer poses a significant threat for domoic acid exposure.
The razor clam fishery in Del Norte County was re-opened in April 2021 after a five-year closure due to high domoic acid concentrations that persisted in the razor clam population, but was then closed again in December due to public health hazard. Pseudo-nitzschia, a naturally occurring single-celled marine alga, produces the potent neurotoxin domoic acid under certain ocean conditions.
During the closure, state health agencies have continued to assess domoic acid levels in razor clams. Two separate clam collections from Crescent Beach, Crescent City this month taken more than a week apart all had domoic acid concentrations below the federal action level of greater than or equal to 20 parts per million.
Domoic acid poisoning in humans may occur within minutes to hours after consumption of affected seafood and can result in signs and symptoms ranging from vomiting and diarrhea to permanent loss of short-term memory (Amnesic Shellfish Poisoning), coma or death. There is no way to prepare clams that will remove the toxin. Cooking and freezing have no effect.
Health agencies continue to monitor domoic acid in razor clams in Del Norte and Humboldt counties, which are both now open to razor clam harvest.
CDFW reminds clammers that the daily bag limit for razor clams is 20 and the first 20 clams dug must be retained regardless of size or condition. The razor clam fishery is open south of Battery Point, Crescent City (Del Norte County) during even-numbered years. Each person is required to keep a separate container for their clams and is not allowed to commingle their take with another person when digging and transporting clams to shore.
For more information, please refer to section 29.20 Clams General and section 29.45 for specific razor clam regulations.
For more information on any fishery closure or health advisories, please visit www.wildlife.ca.gov/fishing/ocean/health-advisories.
To get the latest information on current fishing season closures related to domoic acid, please call CDFW’s Domoic Acid Fishery Closure Information Line at (831) 649-2883.
For the latest consumption warnings, please call the California Department of Public Health’s Biotoxin Information Line at (510) 412-4643 or toll-free at (800) 553-4133.