Olympic National Park's Kalaloch beach will open for razor clam digging on morning tides this coming Tuesday and Wednesday, March 29 and 30. Recent marine toxin tests, conducted this week, showed that the clams are safe to eat.
The two-day opening was announced today by the park and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), which jointly manage the recreational razor clam fishery at Kalaloch. Kalaloch is the only beach in Washington scheduled to open for razor clam digging at this time.
"Now that the clams are safe for people to eat, we're pleased to announce this opportunity for people to dig razor clams at Kalaloch," said Olympic National Park Superintendent Bill Laitner.
Kalaloch has been closed to razor clam digging since the clamming season began last October due to elevated levels of domoic acid detected in clams on the beach. Domoic acid is a naturally occurring marine toxin that can be harmful and even fatal if consumed by humans.
Unlike other razor clamming beaches in Washington, the beaches at Kalaloch are far from any town and have a distinct wilderness character. Diggers are urged to use caution and to carry flashlights or lanterns if walking at night, as there are no streetlights or lighted signs in the area. All of the park's beaches are closed to vehicle traffic, and parking is allowed only in designated parking areas. People are urged to consider carpooling, as parking options are limited.
For more information about visiting Olympic National Park, including camping and lodging information for the Kalaloch area, people should visit the Olympic National Park website (http://www.nps.gov/olym). Information about razor clamming can be found on the WDFW website (http://wdfw.wa.gov/) and by calling the WDFW Shellfish Hotline (1-866-880-5431).
Digging will be allowed between midnight and noon of each day of the two-day pening. Low morning tides those days are as follows:
- March 29, Tuesday: Low tide of -0.1 feet at 8:45 a.m. Sunrise: 5:59 a.m.
- March 30, Wednesday: Low tide of -0.1 feet at 9:31 a.m. Sunrise: 5:57 a.m.
The harvest area at Kalaloch Beach extends from South Beach campground north to Brown's Point, just south of Beach Trail 3.
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 2004-05 license to participate.
Razor-clam digs have also been tentatively scheduled for April 9 through 11 and April 23 through 25 at all five Washington razor-clam beaches, including Kalaloch. As always, marine toxin tests will be conducted before digs at any beach are finally approved.