DOH Marine Biotoxin Bulletin
Beach closure listing due to red tide and other marine toxins
WDFW Olympic Region Harmful Algal Bloom (ORHAB) project
 
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Tools and basic techniques for digging razor clams

Map of Razor Clam Beaches

Beaches in Washington with razor clam fisheries include:

Long Beach, which extends from the Columbia River to Leadbetter Point. (see Map)

Twin Harbors Beach, which extends from the mouth of Willapa Bay north to the south jetty at the mouth of Grays Harbor. (see Map)

Copalis Beach, which extends from the Grays Harbor north jetty to the Copalis River, and includes the Copalis, Ocean Shores, Oyhut, Ocean City and Copalis areas. (see Map)

Mocrocks Beach, which extends from the Copalis River to the southern boundary of the Quinault Reservation near the Moclips River, including Iron Springs, Roosevelt Beach, Seabrook, Pacific Beach and Moclips. (see Map)

Kalaloch Beach, which extends from the South Beach Campground to Brown’s Point (just south of Beach Trail 3) in the Olympic National Park.

October 3, 2017
Contact: Dan Ayres, (360) 249-4628

First razor clam dig of season set Oct. 6-7

OLYMPIA – The first razor clam dig of the fall season will get underway Oct. 6-7 at four ocean beaches.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has approved the dig on evening tides at Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis and Mocrocks after marine toxin tests showed that clams on those beaches are safe to eat. No digging will be allowed on any beach before noon.

The upcoming dig is approved on the following beaches, dates and evening low tides:

  • Oct. 6, Friday, 7:49 p.m.; -0.4 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks
  • Oct. 7, Saturday, 8:33 p.m.; -0.7 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks

Dan Ayres, WDFW coastal shellfish manager, recommends that diggers hit the beach about an hour or two before low tide for the best results.

Before receiving the test results, Ayres said he had received a number of calls from diggers about an erroneous newspaper story that suggested that ocean beaches would remain closed to digging.

"A map on the Washington Department of Health's website indicates that beaches are closed to razor clam digging up until they are cleared to open by the test results," Ayres said. "We're pleased that we are able to move ahead with this opening as scheduled."

A recent statement in a story about Pierce County's shellfish ban might have caused some confusion among razor clam diggers. While it's true that the Washington coast has been closed to clam digging, that closure could be superseded by favorable results from a marine toxin test, due as early as Oct. 3. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife will post the results of that test at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/razorclams/current.html.

WDFW has tentatively scheduled another dig for Nov. 2-5, pending results of future toxin tests. More information on planned digs can be found on WDFW's razor clam webpage at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/razorclams/current.html.

All diggers age 15 or older must have an applicable 2017-18 fishing license to harvest razor clams on any beach. Licenses, ranging from a three-day razor clam license to an annual combination fishing license, are available on WDFW's website at https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov and from license vendors around the state.

Under state law, diggers at open beaches can take 15 razor clams per day and are required to keep the first 15 they dig. Each digger's clams must be kept in a separate container.

Ayres noted that throughout the 2017-18 razor clam season, a research team from the University of Maryland will be out on the beaches seeking volunteers to participate in a survey about razor clam consumption and harvesting practices. For more information, contact Lynn Grattan at 877-668-4559 or LGrattan@som.umaryland.edu.

Proposed razor clam digs through December are listed below, along with evening low tides and beaches:

Daylight Savings Time

  • Nov. 2, Thursday, 6:03 p.m.; 0.1 feet; Copalis
  • Nov. 3, Friday, 6:47 p.m.; -0.7 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Nov. 4, Saturday, 7:31 p.m.; -1.2 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis

Pacific Standard Time

  • Nov. 5, Sunday, 7:16 p.m.; -1.4 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Dec. 1, Friday, 4:42 p.m.; -0.3 feet; Copalis
  • Dec. 2, Saturday, 5:29 p.m.; -1.1 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Dec. 3, Sunday, 6:15 p.m.; -1.6 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • Dec. 4, Monday, 7:02 p.m.; -1.8 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Dec. 31, Sunday, 5:12 p.m.; -1.2 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks

For more information about recreational razor clamming, visit WDFW's website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/razorclams/.

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The Washington Department of Health (DOH) monitors shellfish for a variety of contaminants, including biotoxins, pollution, and radiation. For more information on shellfish safety, visit DOH's recreational shellfish webpage.