OLYMPIA - The last razor clam dig of the season will take place on two coastal beaches May 5-7 if marine toxin tests show the clams there are safe to eat, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) announced today.
Provided test results are favorable, Twin Harbors and Kalaloch beaches will be open for digging mornings until noon Wednesday through Friday during the first week of May.
No digging will be allowed at Long Beach, Copalis and Mocrocks beaches, where the state's annual razor clam allocation has already been harvested during previous digs.
Dan Ayres, WDFW coastal shellfish manager, said there are just enough clams remaining under the allocation for Twin Harbors and Kalaloch to allow the proposed weekday dig at those two beaches.
"We would have liked to give people another weekend opening, but that would have put us over our allocation," Ayres said. "Overall, it's been a great season and this opening would just be the icing on the cake."
Ayres said the final word on whether Twin Harbors and Kalaloch will be open for digging will come May 3, when WDFW receives the results of the second and final marine toxin test from the Washington Department of Health. As in the past, WDFW will announce the razor clam decision on its website and the department's Shellfish Hotline (1-866-880-5431), Ayres said.
The opening at Kalaloch Beach, which lies within the boundaries of the Olympic National Park, was tentatively scheduled by park officials to coincide with the one planned at Twin Harbors.
Bill Laitner, Olympic National Park superintendent, cautions prospective diggers that Kalaloch is a wild and primitive beach, which is not open to vehicles. Parking near access sites is limited and is permitted only at designated parking areas.
To dig razor clams, participants must have a valid 2004-05 shellfish/seaweed license, available from license vendors across the state and on-line at http://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov.
Under state rules, harvesters are limited to 15 razor clams per day and must keep the first 15 they dig, regardless of size or condition. Each digger=s limit must be kept in a separate container.
For best results, Ayres recommends that people start digging at least one hour before low tide. Low morning tides during the planned opening are as follows:
- Wednesday, May 5: 7:41 a.m. (-1.9)
- Thursday, May 6: 8:27 a.m. (-2.2)
- Friday, May 7: 9:15 a.m. (-2.1)
Exact digging areas on the beaches are:
- Twin Harbors Beach, from the mouth of Willapa Bay north to the mouth of Grays Harbor.
- Kalaloch Beach, from the south beach campground to Brown's Point (just south of Beach Trail 3) in the Olympic National Park. For more information, consult the Olympic National Park website at http://www.nps.gov/olym/ or check at the Kalaloch ranger station.
Beaches that will remain closed to razor clam digging include:
- Long Beach, from the Columbia River to Leadbetter Point on the Long Beach Peninsula.
- Copalis Beach, from the Grays Harbor North Jetty to the Copalis River, and includes beaches near Copalis, Ocean Shores, Oyhut and Ocean City.
- Mocrocks Beach, from the Copalis River to the southern boundary of the Quinault Reservation near the Moclips River, including Iron Springs, Roosevelt Beach, Pacific Beach and Moclips.