OLYMPIA - Clam diggers today got the go-ahead to proceed with the third razor-clam dig of the fall season, starting Friday, Dec. 21 on evening tides at four beaches.
Evening digs are scheduled at Twin Harbors, Long Beach, Copalis and Mocrocks beaches Dec. 21 and 22. One beach - Twin Harbors - will also open for an evening razor clam dig Dec. 23.
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) approved the digs at the four beaches after a series of marine toxin tests confirmed the clams were safe to eat.
Kalaloch Beach in Olympic National Park will remain closed throughout the 2007-08 season, due to the low clam population on that beach.
"These digs during the holiday season are enormously popular," said Dan Ayres, WDFW coastal shellfish manager. In 2003, the last time the tides were conducive to a razor-clam dig during the week of Christmas, nearly 20,000 diggers hit the beach the first day, he said.
Digging will be restricted to the hours between noon and midnight each day at all beaches. The best time to start digging is an hour or two before low tide, said Ayres, who recommends taking a lantern for evening digs.
Tentative opening dates and evening low tides are:
- Friday, Dec. 21 (4:12 p.m. -0.4) all beaches (except Kalaloch)
- Saturday, Dec. 22 (5:06 p.m. -0.9) all beaches (except Kalaloch)
- Sunday, Dec. 23 (5:58 p.m. -1.2) Twin Harbors only
Harvesters are allowed to take no more than 15 razor clams and must keep the first 15 they dig, regardless of size or condition. Each digger's clams must be kept in a separate container. Clam diggers are no longer required to display their licenses on outer clothing.
A license is required for anyone age 15 or older. Any 2007 annual shellfish/seaweed license or combination license is still valid. Another option is a razor-clam only license available in annual or three-day only versions. Descriptions of the various licensing options are available on the WDFW website at https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov.
Beaches scheduled to open are:
- Long Beach, which extends from the Columbia River to Leadbetter Point.
- Twin Harbors Beach, which extends from the mouth of Willapa Bay north to the mouth of Grays Harbor.
- Copalis Beach, which extends from the Grays Harbor North Jetty to the Copalis River, and includes beaches near Copalis, Ocean Shores, Oyhut and Ocean City.
- Mocrocks Beach, which extends 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.