March 03, 2006
Contact: Dan Ayres, WDFW (360) 249-4628
Barb Maynes, ONP (360) 565-3005
Razor clam digs tentatively set
later this month and next
OLYMPIA – The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has tentatively scheduled a razor-clam dig on ocean beaches March 25-28, followed by another dig April 28-May 1.
Final word on both digs will be announced once marine toxin tests determine whether clams on those beaches are safe to eat.
If the test results are favorable, razor-clam beaches at Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks, Copalis and Kalaloch will all open for digging on evening tides March 25-27. The National Park Service scheduled the dig at Kalaloch, which is within Olympic National Park, to coincide with those at the other beaches.
In addition, two of those beaches – Twin Harbors and Mocrocks – will open for a fourth day of digging March 28.
As during previous digs this season, no digging will be allowed before noon at any of those beaches.
That will not, however, be the case during the dig tentatively scheduled in late April, the first of the season scheduled on morning tides. Any digging done during that opening must be completed by noon, said Dan Ayres, WDFW coastal shellfish manager.
“Starting in April, the lowest tides are in the morning, so that’s when we schedule the digs,” Ayres said. “These morning digs tend to be very popular, partly because we often get good weather.”
Provided toxin tests are favorable, four – and possibly all five – razor clam beaches will open for digging in late April. Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks and Copalis are all tentatively scheduled to open April 28-30 on morning tides, followed by a one-day dig May 1 at Twin Harbors and Mocrocks.
An April opening at Kalaloch is in question, however, because the clam harvest on that beach has been unusually low during recent digs, said Olympic National Park Superintendent Bill Laitner. He noted that diggers averaged just four clams at Kalaloch during last month’s dig, compared to 14.8 clams at the other four beaches.
“Earlier in the season, we thought the poor harvest at Kalaloch was due to rough surf and unfavorable weather conditions,” Laitner said. “But conditions were good there last month, and digging results were still poor, so we want to reassess the clam population at Kalaloch before we open it for a morning dig in April.”
For best results, Ayres recommends that clam enthusiasts start digging at least one hour before low tide. Low tides during the digs tentatively scheduled this month and next are:
- Saturday, March 25 – 3:14 p.m., +0.3 ft. (all beaches)
- Sunday, March 26 – 4:07 p.m., 0.0 ft. (all beaches)
- Monday, March 27 – 4:55 p.m., -0.2 ft. (all beaches)
- Tuesday, March 28 – 5:39 p.m., -0.1 ft. (Twin Harbors and Mocrocks only)
- Friday, April 28 – 7:36 a.m., -1.8 ft. (Kalaloch uncertain)
- Saturday, April 29 – 8:21 a.m., -1.8 ft. (Kalaloch uncertain)
- Sunday, April 30 – 9:06 a.m., -1.6 (Kalaloch uncertain)
- Monday, May 1 – 9:50 a.m., -1.1 (Twin Harbors and Mocrocks only)
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.
Locations of Washington’s five beaches 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.