OLYMPIA – Four ocean beaches will open for the last razor clam dig of the spring season starting April 28, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) announced today.
Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks and Copalis will all open for digging on morning tides April 28-30, as previously scheduled. Two of those beaches – Twin Harbors and Mocrocks – will also open for a fourth day of digging May 1.
Each day’s dig on those beaches must be completed by noon.
WDFW approved those digs after marine toxin tests, conducted by the Washington Department of Health, showed that the clams on all four beaches are safe to eat.
As previously announced, Kalaloch Beach will not be open for the final recreational dig of the season because of concerns about the low abundance of clams on the beach in recent months.
WDFW and Olympic National Park, which cooperatively manage the recreational razor clam fishery at Kalaloch, are investigating the apparent low abundance of razor clams on that beach.
The other four beaches have not shown indications of population decline and most diggers have been getting their 15-clam limits in recent months, said Dan Ayres, WDFW coastal shellfish manager. He estimates that 20,000 people will descend on those beaches during the first day of the upcoming dig.
“For that reason, we strongly advise diggers to purchase a 2006-07 license before they leave home,” said Ayres, noting that previous annual licenses expired March 31.
“Those who wait could face long lines at licensing outlets on the coast.”
Razor clam diggers have several licensing options, including annual razor clam, shellfish/seaweed or combination licenses, all valid through March 31, 2007. Diggers can also purchase a three-day razor clam license, or a temporary combination license valid from one to five days.
Fishing and hunting licenses are available on-line (https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov/), via WDFW’s toll-free phone line (1-866-246-9453) and from retail dealers throughout the state (http://wdfw.wa.gov/licensing/vendors/vendors).
Once on the beach, Ayres recommends that clam enthusiasts start digging at least one hour before low tide. Low morning tides during the planned dig are as follows:
- Friday, April 28 - 7:36 a.m., -1.8 ft.
- Saturday, April 29 - 8:21 a.m., -1.8 ft.
- Sunday, April 30 - 9:06 a.m., -1.6 ft.
- Monday, May 1 - 9:50 a.m., -1.1 ft. (Twin Harbors and Mocrocks 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.
Locations of the four beaches set to open April 28 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.