March 28, 2007
Contact: Dan Ayres, WDFW, (360) 249-4628
Barbara Maynes, ONP, (360) 565-3005
New license required to participate
in proposed morning razor clam dig
OLYMPIA – Fishery managers have tentatively scheduled a razor clam dig on morning tides April 19-22, provided marine toxin tests show the clams are safe to eat.
If approved, the proposed dig will give clam diggers their first opportunity of the season to dig razor clams before noon.
To participate, diggers must purchase an applicable 2007-08 fishing license, since March 31 marks the end of the current license year. Options range from an annual combination license to a three-day license specific to razor clams.
“We strongly advise diggers to purchase their new license before they head to the beach,” said Dan Ayres, coastal shellfish manager for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). “Morning digs are very popular, and no one wants to be standing in line to buy a license at low tide.”
Previous morning digs have drawn as many as 30,000 clam diggers to coastal beaches in a single day, Ayres said.
Ayres said WDFW will announce its decision about whether to proceed with the proposed dig in April about a week ahead of time, once marine toxin tests are completed.
If marine toxin tests are favorable, one beach – Twin Harbors – will open for digging Thursday, April 19, joined by Long Beach on Friday, April 20. Those beaches plus Copalis, Mocrocks and Kalaloch will open for digging Saturday, April 21. All beaches except Kalaloch will be open for digging Sunday, April 22.
The only day that Kalaloch Beach will be open for digging is Saturday, April 21.
No digging will be allowed after noon on any beach. Low tides for those opening dates are as follows:
- Thursday, April 19, 8:39 a.m., -1.9 ft: Twin Harbors
- Friday, April 20, 9:27 a.m., -1.7 ft: Twin Harbors, Long Beach
- Saturday, April 21, 10:17 a.m., -1.2 ft: Twin Harbors, Long Beach, Copalis, Mocrocks and Kalaloch
- Sunday, April 22, 11:10 a.m., -0.5 ft: Twin Harbors, Long Beach, Copalis and Mocrocks
The National Park Service scheduled the Saturday dig at Kalaloch, which is within Olympic National Park, to coincide with those at the other beaches.
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.
A license is required for anyone age 15 or older. 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/licensing/vendors/vendors.
Locations of Washington’s razor-clam digging beaches are:
- Twin Harbors, from the south jetty at the mouth of Grays Harbor south to the mouth of Willapa Bay.
- Long Beach, from the Columbia River north jetty to Leadbetter Point on the Long Beach Peninsula.
- 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.