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March 29, 2011
Contact: Dan Ayres, WDFW (360) 249-4628

Second round of razor-clam digs
tentatively scheduled in April

OLYMPIA – The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) plans to open ocean beaches for a second round of razor-clam digging in April if marine toxin tests show the clams are safe to eat.

In addition to the dig tentatively scheduled April 7-9 at Long Beach and Twin Harbors, WDFW also hopes to open those beaches for clam digging April 19-23 and two others April 21-23.

Final word on those digs – all scheduled on morning low tides – will be announced about a week ahead of time, once the results of the marine toxin tests are available.

“The weather was pretty rough during the March opener, so diggers didn’t get as many clams as we thought they would,” said Dan Ayres, WDFW coastal shellfish manager. “That gives us an opportunity to schedule a second dig in April.”

If the toxin results are favorable, Long Beach and Twin Harbors will reopen for digging April 19 through April 22, until noon each day, plus April 23 until 1 p.m. Two other beaches – Copalis and Mocrocks – will be open for digging April 21-22 until noon and April 23 until 1 p.m. under that plan.

Fishery managers agreed to an extra hour of digging Saturday, April 23, because low tide won’t occur until 11:27 a.m. that morning, Ayres said.

“We didn’t want to be in the position of shooing diggers off the beach just a half-hour after low tide,” he said. “This schedule makes more sense for everyone.”

As currently proposed, digging days and morning low tides for April are:

  • April 7 (Thursday), 9:37 a.m. (0.1 feet); Long Beach, Twin Harbors

  • April 8 (Friday), 10:19 a.m. (0.2 feet); Long Beach, Twin Harbors

  • April 9 (Saturday), 11:07 a.m. (0.4 feet); Long Beach, Twin Harbors

  • April 19 (Tuesday), 8:07 a.m. (-1.8 feet); Long Beach, Twin Harbors

  • April 20 (Wednesday), 8:54 a.m. (-1.7 feet); Long Beach, Twin Harbors

  • April 21 (Thursday), 9:42 a.m. (-1.4 feet); Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis and Mocrocks

  • April 22 (Friday), 10:33 a.m. (-0.8 feet); Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis and Mocrocks

  • April 23 (Saturday), 11:27 a.m. (-0.2 feet); Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis and Mocrocks (Digging allowed until 1 p.m.)

Kalaloch Beach is closed to razor-clam digging until further notice for an assessment of the clam population on the beach. The beach, managed by the National Park Service, is located inside Olympic National Park.

Ayres reminds diggers age 15 or older that they must purchase a 2011-12 license to participate in the April openings, since 2010-11 state fishing licenses expire March 31. “We plan to announce additional digging opportunities in May, so diggers may want to take that into account,” he said.

Various licenses, ranging from a three-day razor-clam license to a multi-species combination license, are avaiIable online (https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov/), by phone (1-866-246-9453) and from sporting goods stores and other retail license dealers around the state.

Under state 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.

The four razor-clam beaches tentatively scheduled to open for digging in April are:

  • Long Beach, which extends from the Columbia River to Leadbetter Point.

  • Twin Harbors Beach, which extends from Cape Shoalwater to the south jetty at the mouth of Grays Harbor.

  • Copalis Beach, which extends from the Grays Harbor north jetty to the Copalis River, and includes the Copalis, Ocean Shores, Oyhut, Ocean City and Copalis areas.

  • 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.