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March 06, 1997
Contact: Chuck Bolland, (360) 902-2255

WDFW opens spring recreational razor clam season

OLYMPIA -- The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) today announced the recreational razor clam season for the Pacific beaches.

Twin Harbors Beach and Kalaloch (between Olympic National Park South Beach Campground access road and Olympic National Park Trail 3) will open April 5 through April 13. Digging is allowed during a.m. tides on odd numbered days only.

A donation of 10,000 clams from the Quinault Indian Nation made the five-day non-Indian season at Kalaloch possible. Bern Shanks, director of the Department of Fish and Wildlife commented, "This is a good example of how cooperative management can benefit fisheries."

Long Beach, as previously announced, is open for a recreational harvest March 8. If sufficient clams remain, then additional harvest days will be announced for April.

The beaches from the Copalis River north to the Moclips River will remain closed.

The schedule is tentative, pending final testing for naturally occurring marine toxins by the Washington Department of Health.

Department biologists report that the limited spring season is the result of low clam populations. Following the spring season, WDFW will be researching clam populations from the Columbia River to Kalaloch, utilizing a new and more accurate assessment method. Biologists hope the four-month project will show a more abundant number of clams that will be ready for harvest next year.

All recreational diggers are reminded that they need a 1997 Shellfish/Seaweed license. The fee for Washington residents from age 15 to 69 is $5, residents 70 years of age and older pay $3. The non-resident license fee is $20. The daily limit is the first 15 razor clams dug, regardless of size or condition.