Category: Commercial Fishing / Shellfishing
Published: September 2017
Fishery Objectives and Preseason Planning
Similar to 2016, elevated levels of domoic acid on the adjacent recreational beaches prompted fishery managers to conduct biotoxin sampling on the Willapa spits earlier than in previous years. Due to the unlikelihood of the fishery opening in the spring of 2017 no public meeting was held. Fishery managers relied on the razor clam hotline, commercial razor clam web page and email distribution list to share biotoxin results and sampling plans. Pre-season test results indicated relatively high levels of domoic acid were present in clams. Given the slow depuration rate and the time need to collect additional biotoxin samples a season delay was announced in early March. When it became apparent that a spring fishery was not going to open fishery managers continued to explore the possibility of a fall fishery, unfortunately persistent domoic acid levels above the regulatory limit through the summer and fall meant a fishery was never realized in 2017. After receiving a number of requests from individuals over the course of the year a public meeting will be announced in 2018.