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WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE     Print Version
NEWS RELEASE
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091


October 31, 2006
Contact: Dan Ayres, WDFW, (360) 249-4628
Barbara Maynes, ONP, (360) 565-3005

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Razor clam dig starts Friday
on three ocean beaches

OLYMPIA – Clam diggers today got the green light to proceed with the second razor clam dig of the fall season, starting Friday, Nov. 3, on evening tides at three of Washington's ocean beaches.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) approved the digs at Long Beach, Twin Harbors, and Mocrocks beaches after a series of marine toxin tests confirmed that the clams there are safe to eat.

The beaches will be open Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 3-5. One beach – Twin Harbors – will also be open for a fourth evening of digging Monday, Nov. 6.

Digging will be restricted to the hours between noon and midnight each day at the three beaches. Two other beaches – Copalis Beach and Kalaloch Beach – will remain closed to clam digging in November.

The beach at Copalis will be closed due to the low number of clams in the total allowable catch, said Dan Ayres, WDFW coastal shellfish manager. Kalaloch Beach, which is located within Olympic National Park, will also be closed to razor clam digging in November, which coincides with the opening of elk hunting season.

Considerable hunting occurs along the park's boundary, requiring increased ranger patrols to prevent illegal hunting within Olympic National Park and to protect park visitors who may be sightseeing or hiking close to the boundary, said Olympic National Park Superintendent Bill Laitner.

At the other three beaches, Ayres recommends that diggers start digging at least one hour before low tide for best results. Low tides for the upcoming openings are:

  • Friday, Nov. 3 (4:32 p.m. -0.3) Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Saturday, Nov. 4 (5:23 p.m. -1.1) Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Sunday, Nov. 5 (6:11 p.m. -1.6) Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Monday, Nov. 6 (6:59 p.m. -1.7) Twin Harbors only

Under WDFW rules, harvesters may take no more than 15 razor clams and must keep the first 15 taken, regardless of size or condition. Each digger's limit must be kept in a separate container.

In addition to the early November opening, WDFW and Olympic National Park also have tentatively scheduled two more evening digs at Washington beaches through the end of the year.

The first will be held Dec. 2-3 at Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks and Kalaloch beaches if a new series of marine toxin tests shows the clams at those beaches are still safe to eat. Twin Harbors would be open one additional day, Dec. 4. Copalis Beach will again remain closed to digging those days due to the low number of clams in the total allowable catch.

Another opening is also scheduled over the New Year’s holiday, with evening digs tentatively scheduled Dec. 31 at all five ocean beaches – including Copalis – and continuing Jan. 1 at Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks and Kalaloch. One beach, Twin Harbors, would also remain open for an evening dig Jan. 2.

Dates and evening low tides for those digs, still pending the results of future marine toxin tests, are as follows:

  • Saturday, Dec. 2 (4:16 p.m. -0.4) Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks, Kalaloch
  • Sunday, Dec. 3 (5:07 p.m. -1.0) Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks, Kalaloch
  • Monday, Dec. 4 (5:56 p.m. -1.3) Twin Harbors only
  • Sunday, Dec. 31 (4:00 p.m. -0.0) all beaches, including Copalis
  • Monday, Jan. 1, (4:53 p.m. -0.3) Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks and Kalaloch
  • Tuesday, Jan. 2, (5:43 p.m. -0.5) Twin Harbors only

Locations of the razor-clam digging beaches are:

  • Long Beach, from the Columbia River north jetty to Leadbetter Point on the Long Beach Peninsula.

  • Twin Harbors, from the south jetty at the mouth of Grays Harbor south to the mouth of Willapa Bay.

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

  • Mocrocks Beach, from the Copalis River to the Moclips River.

  • Kalaloch Beach from South Beach Campground to Brown’s Point (just south of Beach Trail 3) in Olympic National Park. Visitors to the park are advised to consult area bulletin boards for park safety and other information.

A license is required for anyone age 15 or older. Any 2006 annual shellfish/seaweed, razor clam or combination license is still valid. Licenses can be purchased via the Internet at http://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov, by telephone (1-866-246-9453) or in person at more than 600 license vendors throughout the state. A list of vendors can be found at http://wdfw.wa.gov/lic/vendors/vendors.htm.

For anyone needing to purchase a license, Ayres strongly recommends doing so before they leave home to avoid long lines that often form at coastal license dealers.