OLYMPIA – A spring clam dig has been tentatively scheduled in late April at all razor clam beaches, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) announced today.
As always, final approval for the clam dig will depend on the results of marine toxin tests conducted several days before clamming is scheduled to begin. If test results indicate the clams are safe to eat, digging will be allowed on the following days:
- Thursday, April 26 (low water at 9:17 a.m. / -1.0 feet)
- Friday, April 27 (low water at 10:01 a.m. / -1.0 feet)
- Sunday, April 29 (low water at 11:48 a.m. / -0.4 feet)
Digging on April 26 and 27 will be restricted to morning (a.m.) hours only, ending at noon. On April 29, the open period will be extended until 2 p.m. to give diggers a chance to take advantage of the 11:48 a.m. low tide.
"We generally recommend that people start digging at least an hour before low tide," said Dan Ayres, WDFW razor clam biologist. "But there's often an hour or two of good digging after the tide turns and we didn't want to cut people short on Sunday."
Beaches scheduled to open for the spring dig include Long Beach, Twin Harbors (North Cove, Grayland, Westport), Copalis (Ocean Shore, Oyhut, Ocean City, Copalis), Mocrocks (Iron Springs, Roosevelt, Pacific Beach, Moclips) and Kalaloch (between the South Beach Campground and Brown's Point).
Digging is always prohibited in the three one-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.
To participate in the spring opening, diggers must have a 2001 license, which can be purchased starting March 1. Bruce Crawford, WDFW licensing manager, is urging everyone who plans to participate in the spring dig to purchase a license before heading to the beach, because 2001 shellfish licenses will be sold only by dealers using the new Washington Interactive Licensing Database (WILD) system.
"We've had situations in past years where we've had people waiting in line to purchase a license during prime clamming hours," Crawford said. "We can all avoid that experience this year if people get their licenses before they leave home."
One advantage of the new WILD system is that, beginning March 1, people will be able to purchase recreational licenses over the phone (1-866-246-9453) using a credit card. Crawford cautions, however, that anyone purchasing a license by phone should allow up to six working days for their license to arrive in the mail. As in the past, clammers are required to wear their license on the outside of their clothing when they dig.
Beginning May 1, WDFW will also sell recreational licenses via the Internet.
For more information on razor clams, click here.