OLYMPIA – Clam diggers can ring out the old year and ring in the new with a series of razor clam openings set to begin Dec. 30 and stretch through New Year's Day, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) announced today.
Dan Ayres, WDFW razor clam biologist, popped the cork on the latest round of openings after receiving test results from the Washington Department of Health that indicate the clams are safe to eat.
"The clams are in great shape and it looks like the weather might cooperate too," Ayres said. "We expect to see a lot of diggers out there during the long weekend."
Digging will be allowed from noon until midnight Dec. 30 through Jan. 1 at four ocean beaches: Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis and Mocrocks beaches. Kalaloch will not be open for digging, due to a high abundance of small clams, Ayres said.
Low tide will be at 6:40 p.m. (-0.8) Dec. 30, 7:24 p.m. (-1.0) Dec. 31 and 8:09 p.m. (-1.0) Jan. 1. Ayres recommends that clammers start digging about an hour before low tide for best results.
The year-end clam openings mark the end of a series of digs that began in October. WDFW will announce additional openings in 2002, once WDFW has completed its analysis of the amount of clams still available for harvest, Ayres said.
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.
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.