OLYMPIA– Razor clam enthusiasts may get another opportunity to harvest this spring– provided marine toxin levels remain within safe limits– in digs scheduled to begin next week at four ocean beaches.
The additional digging period is scheduled to run from April 26 though May 1, with digging days varying by location according to the following schedule:
- April 26 through May 1-- Long Beach open; digging restricted to mornings (a.m. tides) only
- April 27 through 30– Kalaloch open; digging on a.m. tides only
- April 27 through 29– Twin Harbors open; digging on a.m. tides only
- April 27 and April 28– Copalis open; digging on a.m. tides only
"These digging days are possible because weather was poor during the coast-wide opener earlier this month and, as a result, harvests were lower than expected," said Dan Ayres, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) razor clam biologist.
"The scheduled digs are on an excellent series of low tides, so conditions should be very favorable for harvesters this time around," Ayres added.
Diggers should note that Mocrocks will not be open for recreational clam digging.
Final approval of the razor clam openings will be announced shortly before the first scheduled day of digging and will be contingent on low biotoxin results in required tests performed by the state Department of Health.
To participate in the opening, diggers must have purchased a 2002-03 annual recreational license, which will remain valid through March 31, 2003, or a two-day license.
The scheduled digs were set in conjunction with the Quinault Indian Nation, which cooperatively manages the razor clam fishery with WDFW on beaches north of Grays Harbor.
Washington's recreational razor clam beaches include:
- 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.
- Kalaloch, from the South Beach Campground to Brown's Point (just south of Beach Trail #3) within the Olympic National Park.
Mocrocks (which does not open during these dates), includes Iron Springs, Roosevelt Beach, Pacific Beach and Moclips.