Clam diggers today got a green light to proceed with a razor clam dig March 16-18 at several ocean beaches.
Fishery managers approved the dig – the last of the season on evening tides – after marine toxin tests showed that the clams on those beaches are safe to eat.
The following beaches will be open for razor clam digging between noon and midnight on these days:
- Friday, March 16 – Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
- Saturday, March 17 – All beaches: Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks, Kalaloch
- Sunday, March 18 – Long Beach, Twin Harbors and Kalaloch
Diggers should be especially attentive to which beaches are open each day of the three-day opening, said Dan Ayres, coastal shellfish manager for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).
“As we near the end of the season, we have to juggle openings based on the number of clams still available for harvest at each beach,” Ayres said. “During the upcoming digs, beach openings vary somewhat from day to day.”
In addition, diggers should be aware that daylight-saving time will be in effect for the upcoming dig, said Dan Ayres,
“The extra hour of daylight is good news for razor clam diggers, but some tide books do not reflect the early start for daylight-saving time this year,” he said. “That could be an issue in planning a clam-digging trip.”
Evening low tides during the dig will be at 5:31 p.m. March 16 (+0.1 ft.), 6:16 p.m. March 17 (-0.1 ft.) and 6:58 p.m. March 18 (-0.1 ft.).
For best results, Ayres recommends that diggers get started an hour or two before low tide. No digging will be allowed before noon.
The upcoming dig will be the last chance this season to harvest razor clams on afternoon tides, although fishery managers may open some beaches for morning digging in April, Ayres said.
“We’d like to provide some morning clam-digging opportunities in April, but first we’ll have to assess how many clams are available for harvest after the scheduled dig in March,” he said.
The National Park Service scheduled the digs at Kalaloch, which is located within Olympic National Park, to coincide with those at the other beaches. Superintendent Bill Laitner reminds diggers that “Kalaloch is a remote beach with its own unique wilderness character. It’s the perfect spot for people who enjoy ‘roughing it’ along with razor clamming.”
Farther south, the Ocean Shores Chamber of Commerce is planning a razor clam festival March 17 to coincide with the scheduled dig at Copalis Beach, which includes the beach at Ocean Shores. Information on the festival, which includes chowder cook-offs and live music, is available on the chamber’s website (http://www.oceanshores.org/) or by calling 360-289-2451.
A license is required for anyone age 15 or older to dig razor clams. Any 2006 annual shellfish/seaweed, razor clam or combination license is still valid. Licenses can be purchased via the Internet at https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov, by telephone (1-866-246-9453), or in person at more than 600 license vendors throughout the state. A list of vendors can be found at http://wdfw.wa.gov/lic/vendors/vendors.
Razor clam beaches are defined as follows:
- Long Beach, which extends from the Columbia River to Leadbetter Point.
- Twin Harbors Beach, which extends from the mouth of Willapa Bay north to the mouth of Grays Harbor.
- 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.
- Mocrocks Beach, which 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.
- Kalaloch Beach, which extends from the South Beach Campground to Brown’s Point (just south of Beach Trail 3) in the Olympic National Park.
For more information, check http://www.nps.gov/olym/planyourvisit/exploring-the-coast.htm.