OLYMPIA– Razor clam digs scheduled to open this week at four ocean beaches were given final approval today by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) after test results indicated the clams are safe to eat.
Digging days vary by location at each beach, 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
Mocrocks will not be open for recreational clam digging.
The digs were given the green light to proceed after required tests performed by the state Department of Health determined biotoxins levels are within safe limits.
"Conditions should be very favorable for this final opportunity of the spring season– digging days on low tides, and the weather should be more cooperative this time around," said Dan Ayres, WDFW razor clam biologist.
The latest round of digs was made possible because poor weather on digging days earlier this month resulted in lower turn-out and harvest than anticipated.
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. Licenses can be purchased at any one of hundreds of dealers statewide, including most sporting goods stores. A list of recreational license dealers is available at the WDFW website at on the Internet. Licenses can also be purchased over the phone (1-866-246-9453) or on-line at http://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov/ on the Internet.
Under WDFW rules, harvesters may take no more than 15 razor clams and must keep the first 15 taken, regardless of size and condition. Each digger's limit must be kept in a separate container.
Digging is prohibited in three 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 Beach; at the county line approach on Twin Harbors beach and 2.8 miles north of the Oysterville approach on Long Beach.
The 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.