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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.

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

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.

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.

Kalaloch Beach, which extends from the South Beach Campground to Brown’s Point (just south of Beach Trail 3) in the Olympic National Park. (This beach is closed to harvest until further notice)

April 28, 2016
Contact: Dan Ayres, (360) 249-4628

WDFW OK's razor clam dig beginning May 6 on two beaches

OLYMPIA – State shellfish managers have added four days of razor clam digging at Mocrocks to a previously scheduled opening at Long Beach to offer a full week of digging starting May 6.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) approved the digs at Long Beach and Mocrocks after marine toxin tests showed the clams on those beaches are safe to eat.

The department added dates at Mocrocks after evaluating harvest levels and determining there are still clams available for digging, said Dan Ayres, WDFW coastal shellfish manager.

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

  • May 6, Friday, 6:51 a.m.; -1.5 feet; Long Beach
  • May 7, Saturday, 7:39 a.m.; -2.0 feet; Long Beach
  • May 8, Sunday, 8:26 a.m.; -2.1 feet; Long Beach
  • May 9, Monday, 9:14 a.m.; -1.9 feet; Mocrocks
  • May 10, Tuesday, 10:03 a.m.; -1.5 feet; Mocrocks
  • May 11, Wednesday, 10:55 a.m.; -0.9 feet; Mocrocks
  • May 12, Thursday, 11:49 a.m.; -0.3 feet; Mocrocks

Ayres recommends that diggers arrive at the beaches an hour or two before low tide for best results. However, digging is not allowed on any beach after noon with the exception of Mocrocks on May 12, when digging will be allowed for an extra hour, until 1 p.m., due to the later low tide, Ayres said.

Under state law, diggers are required to keep the first 15 clams they dig. Each digger's clams must be kept in a separate container.

All diggers age 15 or older must have an applicable 2016-17 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.

Tentative razor clam dates for late May 2016

WDFW also is proposing three days of digging at Mocrocks and two days at Copalis later in the month. These will be the final days of digging on those two beaches this season, Ayres said. The department will announce whether the digs can proceed, pending the results of marine toxin tests, about a week before the digs are scheduled to start.

Below is a list of proposed digs, along with low tides and beaches:

  • May 20, Friday, 6:37 a.m.; -0.3 feet; Mocrocks, Copalis
  • May 21, Saturday, 7:12 a.m.; -0.6 feet; Mocrocks, Copalis
  • May 22, Sunday, 7:47 a.m.; -0.8 feet; Mocrocks

During all upcoming digs, state wildlife managers urge clam diggers to avoid disturbing snowy plovers and streaked horned larks by observing posted vehicle speed limits and avoiding nest sites. Both species nest in the soft, dry sand at Leadbetter Point on the Long Beach Peninsula.

The snowy plover is a small bird with gray wings and a white breast. The lark is a small bird with a pale yellow breast and brown back. Male larks have a black mask, breast band and “horns.” Both species are listed as “endangered” in the state and as “threatened” under the federal Endangered Species Act.



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.