OLYMPIA - The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will seek recommendations on the fall razor clam season at a series of five public meetings in western Washington this month.
WDFW will also accept written comments through Sept. 22 on the upcoming season, which is tentatively scheduled to begin in mid-October.
"We've made a real effort in recent years to structure razor clam openings in ways that make the most sense for clam diggers and coastal communities," said Doug Simons WDFW razor clam manager. "We want to hear from people about how we can maximize digging opportunities during the coming season."
Options to be discussed at the meetings include whether to schedule more openings in fall or spring, whether to focus more digging on the weekends, and whether to allow digging on consecutive days or continue with an every-other-day approach.
Besides accepting public comments, agency biologists attending the meetings will discuss the status of Washington's razor clam populations, management strategies, marine toxin issues and license changes.
Simons said razor clam populations are continuing to grow under the current management strategy, which should allow for better digging opportunities on most beaches than in past years. The fall season will be set after the public has had a chance to comment, he said.
The public meetings are scheduled from 7 to 9 p.m. at the following locations:
- Long Beach: Sept. 12 at the Super 8 Motel, 500 Ocean Beach Blvd.
- Westport: Sept. 13 at the Ocosta High School Library, 2580 Montesano St.
- Forks: Sept. 18 at the Westend Sportsman's Club, 243 Sportsman's Drive.
- Ocean Shores: Sept 20, at the North Beach High School Library, 336 State Route 115.
- Fife: Sept. 21, at the Fife High School Cafeteria, 5616 20th St. E (off I-5).
People who are unable to attend the public meetings can submit written comments to WDFW through Sept. 22. Comments should be mailed to Dan Ayres, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, 600 Capitol Way N., Olympia, WA 98501-1091. Comments also may be sent via e-mail to email@example.com to the attention of Dan Ayres.
General information about razor clam digging in Washington state is available on the WDFW web page.