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

February 21, 2006
Contact: Dan Ayers, WDFW (360) 249-4628
Barb Maynes, ONP (360) 565-3005

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Five ocean beaches will open
for end-of-week razor clam dig

OLYMPIA – Clam diggers got the green light to proceed with a razor clam dig Friday through Sunday (Feb. 24-26) on evening tides at five ocean beaches.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) announced final approval of digs at Long Beach, Mocrocks, Copalis, Twin Harbors and Kalaloch beaches after a series of marine toxin tests confirmed that the clams are safe to eat.

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

As in previous openings this season, no digging will be allowed at any beach before noon. Diggers may take no more than 15 razor clams and must keep the first 15 taken, regardless of size or condition. They also must carry a valid 2005-06 fishing license and keep clams in a separate container.

Warm, waterproof clothes are also a good idea, said Dan Ayres, WDFW coastal shellfish manager.

“We’ve had some big waves and rough weather during the past two openings,” Ayres said. “We’re hoping for better conditions this time, but it’s always best to prepare for wet weather.”

Park Superintendent Bill Laitner urged clam diggers to be especially careful at Kalaloch during this week’s dig.

“Kalaloch is considerably more remote than the other clamming beaches, and visitors should be prepared for primitive conditions,” said Laitner. “With no streetlights or lighted buildings in the area, flashlights or lanterns are a necessity.”

For best results under any conditions, Ayres recommends that diggers hit the beach at least an hour before low tide. Evening low tides during this week’s digs are:

  • Friday, Feb. 24: 3:43 p.m. +0.4 ft.
  • Saturday, Feb. 25: 4:37 p.m. -0.2 ft.
  • Sunday, Feb. 26: 5:25 p.m., -0.5 ft.

Once this week’s dig is over, WDFW will determine whether enough clams remain to be harvested under this year’s quota for another afternoon dig in late March and still provide a series of morning digs in April, Ayres said. News about late-season digs will be announced in mid-March, he said.

“A lot of people really look forward to those morning digs in spring, so we give those top priority,” Ayres said. “With luck, we’ll have enough clams available for another afternoon opening as well as some morning digs.”

Locations of the five beaches scheduled to open for the upcoming razor clam dig 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.

Digging is prohibited in the three one-quarter-mile-wide razor clam reserves, which are marked by 10-foot metal poles with signs. The reserves are located just south of the Ocean City access road on Copalis Beach, on the county line approach to Twin Harbors Beach, and 2.8 miles north of the Oysterville access road on Long Beach.