Fish and Wildlife Director Opens Razor Clam Fishery in Del Norte County; Fishery in Humboldt County Remains Closed Due to Public Health Hazard
The Director of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has re-opened the recreational razor clam fishery in Del Norte County following a recommendation from state health agencies that consumption of razor clams in the area no longer poses a significant threat for domoic acid exposure.
In November 2022, the razor clam fishery closed in Del Norte County due to domoic acid. During the closure, state health agencies had continued to assess domoic acid levels in razor clams. Razor clams have consistently exceeded the federal action level for domoic acid of ≥ 20 parts per million (ppm). However, clams collected from Point Saint George, Del Norte County in June 2023 all had domoic acid concentrations lower than this action level.
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.
The razor clam fishery remains closed in Humboldt County. Health agencies continue to monitor domoic acid in razor clams to determine when the recreational razor clam fishery in Humboldt County can be opened safely.
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 fishery in odd-numbered years is open north of Battery Point, Crescent City in Del Norte County. 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 that can be accessed from the 2023-2024 Ocean Sport Fishing Regulation Booklet (PDF).
For more information on any fishery closure information or health advisories, visit: wildlife.ca.gov/Fishing/Ocean/Health-Advisories.
To get the latest information on current fishing season closures related to domoic acid, call CDFW’s Domoic Acid Fishery Closure Information Line at (831) 649-2883.
For the latest consumption warnings, call the California Department of Public Health’s Biotoxin information Line at (510) 412-4643 or toll-free at (800) 553-4133.
Christy Juhasz, CDFW Marine Region, (707) 292-2480
Jordan Traverso, CDFW Communications, (916) 212-7352