December 22, 2009
Contact: Dan Ayres, (360) 249-4628
Evening razor clam dig approved for New Year's holiday
OLYMPIA - Clam diggers today got the go-ahead to proceed with a four-day razor-clam dig on Washington’s coastal beaches over the New Year’s holiday.
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) gave final approval for the evening digs after a series of marine toxin tests confirmed the clams on all five coastal beaches were safe to eat.
Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks and Kalaloch beaches will be open for clam digging Thursday, Dec. 31 and Friday, Jan. 1.
All of those beaches, with the exception of Kalaloch, also will be open Saturday, Jan. 2. One beach - Twin Harbors - will open for a fourth evening of digging Sunday, Jan. 3.
All digs will be held on evening tides, with digging restricted to the hours between noon and midnight. The National Park Service approved the two-day dig at Kalaloch Beach, located within Olympic National Park, to coincide with those at the other beaches.
"New Year’s razor clam digs are very popular," 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. For safety’s sake, make sure to check the weather and surf conditions before heading out."
Olympic National Park Superintendent Karen Gustin also reinforced taking night dig safety precautions, especially at Kalaloch.
"Kalaloch is considerably more remote than the other clamming beaches, and visitors should be prepared for primitive conditions," Gustin said. "With no streetlights or lighted buildings in the area, flashlights or lanterns are a necessity."
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.
A license is required for anyone age 15 or older. Any 2009 annual shellfish/seaweed license or combination fishing license is still valid. Another option is a razor-clam only license available in annual or three-day only versions. Descriptions of the various options are available on the WDFW website at https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov.
Additional digging dates in 2010 will be announced in January, following review of harvest data, Ayres said.
Digging days and tides during the opening are:
Beaches scheduled to open are:
- Thursday, Dec. 31 (6:16 p.m. -1.1 ft.) Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks, Kalaloch
- Friday, Jan. 1 (7:01 p.m. -1.8 ft.) Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks, Kalaloch
- Saturday, Jan. 2 (7:45 p.m. -1.6 ft.) Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks
- Sunday, Jan. 3 (8:29 p.m. -1.2 ft.) Twin Harbors
- 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 south jetty at the mouth of Grays Harbor.
- Copalis Beach, which extends from the Grays Harbor north jetty to the Copalis River, and includes the Copalis, Ocean Shores, Oyhut, Ocean City and Copalis areas.
- 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.
- Kalaloch Beach, which extends from the South Beach Campground to Brown’s Point (just south of Beach Trail 3) in the Olympic National Park.