600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091

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June 28, 2000
Contact: Amilee Caffey, 360-796-4601

Volunteers needed to plant geoducks at Tolmie State Park

If you've never had the experience of giving a new generation of geoducks a headstart on life, now's your chance.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is seeking volunteers of all ages to plant 10,000 geoduck clams Saturday (July 1) on the beach at Tolmie State Park.

Planting activities will begin at 9 a.m., at the park, which is located north of Olympia off Interstate 5 at the Marvin Road exit.

Baby geoducks, each about the size of a pencil eraser, are planted several at a time into plastic tubes which are plunged into the beach. The clams are planted beneath the beach surface where they burrow down as they grow during their first two years of life. The tubes are later retrieved.

Saturday's planting is the largest ever at the park. In 1998, 4,928 geoduck were planted there. Previous geoduck plantings occurred in 1992 and 1994.

Volunteer sign-up sheets will be provided at the park the morning of the plant. Since parking space is limited, volunteers are encouraged to car pool, and they should dress appropriately for weather and beach conditions.

Geoducks are the largest of the state's native clam species, growing to an average size of about two pounds by the time they are four to five years old. They can live to be 160 years old and reach weights close to 10 pounds.

Tolmie State Park also is open for geoduck clam harvest. Diggers are reminded to respect the rights and property of adjacent tideland owners.