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Nikon NEF format RAW data minimum clamp

When I use DCRAW to extract the RAW values from my D5300 NEF files I notice that the minimum value for all pixels is clamped at 588. Does the NEF format store values below this 588 clamp? Is DCRAW simply clamping the values at 588 based upon some NEF documentation? I am an astrophotographer and this 588 clamp interferes with generating master BIAS and DARK frames.