WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE
NEWS RELEASE
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091

December 21, 2006
Contact: Dan Ayres, WDFW, (360) 249-4628
Barbara Maynes, ONP, (360) 565-3005

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Razor clam dig approved
for New Year’s holiday

OLYMPIA – Clam diggers today got the green light to proceed with a three-day razor clam dig on Washington’s coastal beaches over the New Year’s holiday.

Fishery managers gave final approval for the evening digs after marine toxin tests showed that the clams on all five coastal razor clam beaches are safe to eat.

All of those beaches – Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks and Kalaloch – will be open for clam digging Sunday, Dec. 31 from noon to midnight.

Four beaches, excluding Copalis, will then be open from noon to midnight Monday, Jan. 1. One beach – Twin Harbors – will open for a third evening of digging Tuesday, Jan. 2.

“Razor clam digging has become a New Year’s tradition for tens of thousands of Washingtonians,” said Dan Ayres, coastal shellfish manager for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). “We’re pleased that the tides allowed us to offer another holiday dig this year.”

The National Park Service scheduled the dig at Kalaloch, which is within Olympic National Park, to coincide with those at the other beaches.

As with previous openings this season, no digging will be allowed at any beach before noon.

Bill Laitner, Superintendent of Olympic National Park, strongly recommends carrying a lantern during evening digs – especially at Kalaloch Beach.

“Kalaloch is more remote than other clamming beaches in the state, and people should remember that there are no streetlights or lighted buildings in the area,” Laitner said. “Flashlights or lanterns are a must for all after-dark digs.”

The best time to start digging is an hour or two before low tide, Ayres said. Evening low tides during the upcoming digs are:

  • Sunday, Dec. 31: 4:00 p.m. (-0.0 feet), all beaches, including Copalis

  • Monday, Jan. 1: 4:53 p.m. (-0.3 feet), Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks and Kalaloch

  • Tuesday, Jan. 2: 5:43 p.m. (-0.5 feet), Twin Harbors 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.

A license is required for anyone age 15 or older. Any 2006 annual shellfish/seaweed, razor clam or combination license is still valid. Licenses can be purchased via the Internet at https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov, by telephone (1-866-246-9453) or in person at more than 600 license vendors throughout the state. A list of vendors can be found at http://wdfw.wa.gov/lic/vendors/vendors.htm. Locations of Washington’s razor-clam digging beaches 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.

  • Kalaloch Beach from South Beach Campground to Brown’s Point (just south of Beach Trail 3) in Olympic National Park. Visitors to the park are advised to consult area bulletin boards for park safety and other information.