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

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January 13, 2004
Contact: Dan Ayres, (360) 249-4628

Three-day razor clam dig starts Sunday on coast

OLYMPIA – Clam diggers today got the green light to proceed with a holiday razor clam dig Sunday through Tuesday, Jan. 18-20, on evening tides at several coastal beaches in Washington.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) approved digs all three days at Long Beach and Twin Harbors after a series of marine toxin tests confirmed that the clams on those beaches are safe to eat.

Mocrocks Beach will also be open for digging Jan. 18 and Jan. 19, but will be closed Jan. 20 to save a portion of its annual harvest allocation for future openings.

No recreational digging will be allowed before noon on any of those beaches during the January opening.

Two ocean beaches – Copalis and Kalaloch – will not be open for digging this month. Copalis Beach will remain closed because non-tribal diggers harvested their portion of the beach’s allocation during previous openings. Kalaloch Beach will remain closed because marine toxin tests detected domoic concentrations in clams above the level the Federal Food and Drug Administration deems safe for human consumption.

“It’s disappointing that we can’t offer any digging at Kalaloch during this month’s opener,” said Dan Ayres, WDFW coastal shellfish manager. “However, if the weather and surf conditions are good, other beaches should provide some great digging.”

For best results, Ayres recommends that clam enthusiasts start digging at least one hour before low tide. Low tides during the three-day opening this month are as follows:

  • Sunday, Jan. 18 - 3:40 p.m. (+0.2 feet)
  • Monday, Jan. 19 - 4:38 p.m. (-0.3 feet)
  • Tuesday, Jan. 20 - 5:31 p.m. (-0.7 feet)

Ayres noted that razor clam digs are set for afternoon and evening hours through mid-March, “because that’s when the best clam tides are during fall and winter months.” As in years past, WDFW plans to offer morning clam digs in spring, when the lowest tides occur before noon, if non-tribal harvesters have not already taken the year’s quota.

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. Diggers must have a valid 2003-04 license to participate.

The three beaches scheduled to open for razor-clam digging this month are defined as follows:

  • Long Beach extends from the Columbia River to Leadbetter Point on the Long Beach Peninsula.
  • Twin Harbors Beach extends from the mouth of Willapa Bay north to the mouth of Grays Harbor.
  • Mocrocks Beach extends from the Copalis River to the southern boundary of the Quinault Reservation near the Moclips River, including Iron Springs, Roosevelt Beach, Pacific Beach and Moclips.

The two beaches not scheduled to open for razor-clam digging this month are:

  • Kalaloch Beach, which extends from the south beach campground to Brown’s Point (just south of Beach Trail 3) in the Olympic National Park.
  • Copalis Beach, which extends from the Grays Harbor North Jetty to the Copalis River, and includes beaches near Copalis, Ocean Shores, Oyhut and Ocean City.