OLYMPIA – A six-day razor clam dig scheduled to start Friday (April 12) received final approval today from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) after a review of test results that indicate the clams are safe to eat.
The upcoming clam dig is expected to be the last of the season for most Washington razor clam beaches – all five of which will be open for digging on morning tides April 12-17.
"If you want to dig razor clams, the upcoming six-day opening will be your best bet," said Dan Ayres, WDFW razor clam biologist. "We may be able to provide a follow-up dig at one or two beaches, but we expect to reach our annual recreational allocation for most areas by the end of the upcoming opening."
Ayres reminds prospective diggers that they must have a 2002-02 license (shellfish/seaweed, combination or two-day) to participate in the April opening. Licenses can be purchased at any one of hundreds of dealers throughout the state, including most sporting goods stores. Licenses can also be purchased over the phone (1-866-246-9453) or via the Internet (http://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov/).
During the six-day opening, digging will be permitted during a.m. hours until noon at the following beaches:
- Long Beach, including the entire Long Beach Peninsula.
- Twin Harbors, including Westport, Grayland, Midway and North Cove.
- Copalis, including Ocean Shores, Oyhut, Ocean City and Copalis.
- Mocrocks, including Iron Springs, Roosevelt Beach, Pacific Beach and Moclips.
- Kalaloch, from the South Beach Campground to Brown's Point (just south of Beach Trail #3) within the Olympic National Park.
"We've had a tremendous season with good-sized clams in most areas, and we expect to see some more great digging in the days ahead," Ayres said.
As with previous openings, the April dig was determined in conjunction with the Quinault Indian Nation, which cooperatively manages the razor clam stocks with WDFW on beaches north of Grays Harbor.
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.
Digging is prohibited in the three one-quarter-mile-wide razor clam reserves, which are marked by 10-foot orange metal poles with signs. The reserves are located just south of the Ocean City approach on Copalis; at the county line approach on Twin Harbors Beach; and 2.8 miles north of the Oysterville approach on Long Beach.