600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091
March 28, 2001
Contact: Bruce Crawford, (360) 902-2453
Buy licenses early for spring razor clam digs
Clam diggers looking forward to spring razor clam season are urged to buy their shellfish licenses by telephone (at 1-866-246-9453) at least five business days before they plan to hit the beach or buy their licenses soon at a retail license vendor.
This year's spring razor clam season, is tentatively scheduled April 26, 27 and 29 at Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks and Kalaloch. Actual dates could change depending on the results of marine biotoxin tests conducted by the state Department of Health.
Clam diggers, who time their outings to coincide with low tides, typically converge in large numbers on coastal license dealers just prior to visiting the beach. That scenario could create longer licensing lines than usual this year, since license dealers are still becoming familiar with the new, computerized licensing system known as the Washington Interactive Licensing Database (WILD) that began operation March 1. The system offers fishers and hunters the option of buying licenses by telephone with a credit card, or in person at the counters of WDFW offices and some 500 license dealers statewide.
"In the long-term, we're confident the new licensing system will serve clam diggers much more efficiently than the old, manual system," said WDFW Director Jeff Koenings. "However, this year we're taking some extra steps to ensure things go as smoothly as possible for our customers."
To minimize delays and frustration as dealers and buyers become familiar with the new licensing system, WDFW:
- Urges clam diggers to purchase annual shellfish licenses or combination fishing licenses by telephone this week by calling 1-866-246-9453. Those purchasing shellfish licenses by phone should make their purchases at least five business days before they plan to dig, to allow time to receive their license document in the mail. Clam diggers are still required to wear the shellfish license visible on outer garments.
- Urges clam diggers who prefer to purchase their license in person to buy the license as soon as possible at a local license dealer. A list of license dealers in local communities across the state is available at http://wdfw.wa.gov/lic/vendors/vendors.htm on the Internet. A list of license dealers in southwest Washington and near ocean beaches is included at the end of this news release.
- To accommodate those diggers who wait until the last minute to purchase their license, and may find themselves waiting in long lines at coastal license dealers, WDFW is working to develop a "hot key" on licensing computer terminals, for use by April 10. The "hot key" would allow the license dealers to sell two-day fishing/shellfish licenses (good for two consecutive days beginning on the day of purchase) as quickly as the key is pushed and the sale entered on a cash register. WDFW also is assisting license dealers with backup license document printers and other help with sales as needed.
- If the "hot key" is not ready by April 10, WDFW plans to provide coastal license dealers, as well as coastal charter boat operators, with two- consecutive-day charter fishing/shellfish stamps that can be used for clam digging. Fishers can chose the effective 2 days.
An April 26, 27 and 29 razor clam season has been tentatively scheduled for Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks and Kalaloch. A map of razor clam management beaches can be viewed on the department's web page. The state health department will release the biotoxin test results several days before clam digging is scheduled to begin, and any resulting clam season modifications will be announced by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). For the latest information call the health department's Marine Toxins/PSP hotline (1-800-562-5632) or visit the department's website at http://www.doh.wa.gov/ehp/sf/biotoxin.htm on the Internet. Shellfish season changes are noted on WDFW's shellfish hotline at (360) 796-3215.
Southwest Washington License Dealers:
- Amboy Market, Inc.
- Chelatchie Prairie General Store
- Fred Meyer
- Hi School Pharmacy
- The Tackle Box
- Bi Mart
- Big 5 Sporting Goods
- Bolgers Pharmacy
- Washington Dept. of Fish and Wildlife - Region 5 Office
- Fred Meyer Stores
- G I Joes
- Hi School Pharmacies
- Jimbo's Deli Mart
- Washougal River Mercantile
- Four Corners General Store
- Camp Kalama Campground
- Prichards Western Anglers
- Bakers Corner Store
- Bob's Merchandise, Inc.
- Fred Meyer
- Holts Market
- Manchester Brothers, Inc.
- The Gun Shop
- Drew's Grocery & Service Inc.
Grays Harbor County
Aberdeen Amanda Park Elma Grayland
- Grayland True Value Hardware
- Ace Electric and Hardware, Inc.
- Hogans Corner Gull
Ocean City Ocean Shores
- Washington Dept. of Fish and Wildlife Region 6 Office
- Dennis Company
- Monte Square Enterprise Inc.
- Buck Electric-Ace Hardware
- Advantage Charters
- Cachalot Charters
- Coho Charters, Motel & RV Park
- Deep Sea Charters
- Hungry Whale
- Neptune Charters
- Westport Islander
- Washington Charters Inc.
- Chinook Country Store
- Columbia Shores RV Park
- Ed's Bait and Tackle
- Pacific Salmon Charters, Inc.
Naselle Raymond Seaview
- Dennis Company
- Pioneer Market & Deli
- Lee's Hiway Mart
- Wright Pro Hardware