OLYMPIA – The first round of razor clam openings of 2001 will proceed as planned, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) announced today.
Tests conducted by the Washington Department of Health indicate that marine toxin levels remain low on all beaches, allowing this week's scheduled clam dig to proceed on schedule.
Three ocean beaches will be open to digging from noon to midnight Wednesday (Feb. 7) through Saturday (Feb. 10). They include Long Beach, Twin Harbors (which includes Westport, Grayland and North Cove) and Kalaloch (between South Beach Campground and Brown's Point, just south of Beach Trail 3).
Mocrocks beach (Copalis River to the Moclips River) will be open for two days, from Friday (Feb. 9) to Saturday (Feb. 10), on the same noon-to-midnight schedule.
Remaining closed to harvest by non-tribal diggers is Copalis beach from the Grays Harbor North Jetty to the Copalis River (Ocean Shores, Oyhut, Ocean City and Copalis).
Tim Flint, regional WDFW fisheries manager, said the department expects to offer some additional razor clam-digging opportunities this spring, although no dates have yet been set.
"First we need to determine how much of the resource remains available after this week's dig," Flint said.
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 three quarter-mile-wide razor clam reserves, which are 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.
Diggers are reminded that they must have their 2000 licenses, as described in the WDFW Fishing in Washington pamphlet. The 2000 license is good until March 31, 2001.