April 16, 2007
Contact: Dan Ayres, WDFW (360) 249-4628
Barb Maynes, ONP (360) 565-3005
Morning razor clam dig approved for April 19-22
OLYMPIA – Clam diggers got a green light to proceed with a morning razor clam dig April 19-22 at several ocean beaches.
Fishery managers approved the dig — the first of the season on morning tides — after marine toxin tests showed that the clams on those beaches are safe to eat.
Twin Harbors will open for morning digging Thursday, April 19, joined by Long Beach on Friday, April 20. Those beaches plus Copalis, Mocrocks and Kalaloch will open for digging Saturday, April 21. All beaches except Kalaloch will be open for digging Sunday, April 22.
No digging will be allowed after noon on any beach.
Kalaloch Beach, the most northern beach, will be open for digging on Saturday, April 21, only. “In-season indicators point to a very low clam population at Kalaloch,” said Olympic National Park Superintendent Bill Laitner. “Therefore, we’ll only be opening one day.”
An applicable 2007-08 fishing license is required to dig razor clams on any beach. Options range from an annual combination license to a three-day license specific to razor clams. See https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov/ for more information.
“We strongly advise diggers to purchase their new license before they head to the beach,” said Dan Ayres, coastal shellfish manager for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). “Morning digs are very popular, and no one wants to be standing in line to buy a license at low tide.”
Previous morning digs have drawn as many as 30,000 clam diggers to coastal beaches in a single day, Ayres said. He noted that WDFW may open some beaches for digging in early May if enough clams are still available for harvest after this month’s dig.
Ayres recommends that clam enthusiasts start digging at least one hour before low tide. Low tides during the planned dig are as follows:
- Thursday, April 19, 8:39 a.m., -1.9 ft: Twin Harbors
- Friday, April 20, 9:27 a.m., -1.7 ft: Twin Harbors, Long Beach
- Saturday, April 21, 10:17 a.m., -1.2 ft: Twin Harbors, Long Beach, Copalis, Mocrocks and Kalaloch
- Sunday, April 22, 11:10 a.m., -0.5 ft: Twin Harbors, Long Beach, Copalis and Mocrocks
The National Park Service scheduled the Saturday dig at Kalaloch, which is within Olympic National Park, to coincide with those at the other beaches.
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.
A license is required for anyone age 15 or older. Licenses can be purchased via the Internet at https://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/licensing/vendors/vendors.
Locations of Washington’s razor-clam digging beaches are:
- Twin Harbors, from the south jetty at the mouth of Grays Harbor south to the mouth of Willapa Bay.
- Long Beach, from the Columbia River north jetty to Leadbetter Point on the Long Beach Peninsula.
- 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.