OLYMPIA – The first two razor clam openings of the new year have tentatively been scheduled by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) pending the results of routine testing for marine toxins to be conducted just prior to the digs.
Additional openings are planned in spring, according to the number of clams still available for harvest on various coastal beaches, said WDFW clam biologist Dan Ayres.
Tentative openings announced today include:
- Jan. 29 through Feb. 1 (Tuesday through Friday) each day from noon until 11:59 p.m at Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis and Kalaloch.
- Feb. 27 through March 2 (Wednesday through Saturday) each day from noon until 11:59 p.m. at Long Beach, Copalis and Mocrocks.
Ayres explained that no weekend days were included in the first dig of the year because the tide schedule did not leave the Washington Department of Health enough time to review test results for marine biotoxins until Tuesday, Jan. 29.
In addition, Mocrocks will not open for recreational digging from Jan. 29 through Feb. 1, due to a scheduled dig by members of the Quinault Indian Nation. While tribal diggers will be present at Mocrocks, non-tribal diggers should be aware that digging on this beach from Jan. 29 to Feb. 1 is open only to members of the Quinault Indian Nation, Ayres said.
At Kalaloch beach, however, where harvest opportunities were restricted throughout the fall season due to a high abundance of small clams, digging will be allowed all four days of the 2002 opener because those clams have been growing to a desirable size.
"Harvesters should be aware, however, that future digging opportunities at Kalaloch under consideration for February and March could be compromise if wastage of small clams becomes an issue," Ayres said.
Ayres noted that Twin Harbors will not open for the dig tentatively scheduled Feb. 27 through March 2, because the beach has fewer clams remaining under its total allowable catch.
"We want to save some clams at Twin Harbors for harvest opportunities in the spring," Ayres said.