December 10, 2001
Contact: Dan Ayres, 360-249-4628
Coastal razor clam dig cleared to start Thursday (Dec. 13, 2001)
OLYMPIA – Clam diggers got the green light today to start harvesting razor clams on designated ocean beaches at noon Thursday (Dec. 13) after an analysis of test results showed the clams are safe to eat.
Digging will be allowed from noon until midnight Dec. 13-15 at Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis and Mocrocks beaches. Kalaloch will open for one day only on Dec. 15, due to a high abundance of small clams, said Dan Ayres, shellfish biologist for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).
"Marine toxin levels at all beaches remain low, allowing the third round of openings of the fall season to proceed on schedule," said Ayres, who recommends that clammers start digging about an hour before low tide for best results.
This week's digging schedule, along with afternoon or evening low tides, is as follows:
- December 13 (5:27 p.m. -0.6) Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks
- December 14 (6:13 p.m. -0.7) Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks
- December 15 (6:56 p.m. -0.7) Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks, Kalaloch
Ayres noted that a another round of razor clam openings are tentatively scheduled to begin in late December, but that final word on those openings will not be available until another round of marine toxin tests is completed later in the month. Those tentative openings are currently scheduled Dec. 30-Jan. 1 from noon to midnight.
WDFW hopes to announce additional openings in 2002, once the agency has an opportunity to assess the results of digging in 2001.
Ayres reminds prospective clam diggers that they must have a valid shellfish/seaweed license, combination license or two-day license to harvest shellfish. For licensing information, see the WDFW Fishing in Washington pamphlet, which is available online.
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.
Digging is prohibited in the three razor clam reserves, each one-quarter mile wide and marked by 10-foot orange metal poles with signs. The reserves are located just south of the Ocean City approach on Copalis, at the county line approach on Twin Harbors Beach, and 2.8 miles north of the Oysterville approach on Long Beach.
Areas that will be open to digging on the schedule noted above include:
- Long Beach, from North Head 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, from Ocean Shores to the Copalis River.
- Mocrocks Beach, from the Copalis to the Moclips River.
- Kalaloch Beach, from the south beach campground to Trail 3 in the Olympic National Park.