OLYMPIA – Clam diggers today got the green light to proceed with the last razor clam dig of the season Wednesday through Friday (May 5-7) on two coastal beaches.
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) approved the three-day dig at Twin Harbors and Kalaloch beaches after a series of marine toxin tests confirmed that the clams on those beaches are safe to eat.
Clam digging on those beaches will be restricted to morning hours before noon. No digging will be allowed at Long Beach, Copalis and Mocrocks beaches, where the state’s annual razor clam allocation has already been harvested during previous digs.
Dan Ayres, WDFW coastal shellfish manager, said there are just enough clams remaining under the allocation for Twin Harbors and Kalaloch to allow the proposed weekday dig at those two beaches.
“This is the last chance people will have to dig razor clams until the new season begins next fall,” Ayres said. “We would have liked to give people another weekend opening, but that would have put us over our allocation.”
The 2004-05 season is tentatively scheduled to get under way in mid-October, Ayres said.
The opening at Kalaloch Beach, which lies within the boundaries of the Olympic National Park, was scheduled by park officials to coincide with the one planned at Twin Harbors.
Bill Laitner, Olympic National Park superintendent, cautions prospective diggers that Kalaloch is a wild and primitive beach, closed to vehicles. Parking near access sites is limited and is permitted only at designated parking areas, Laitner said.
To dig razor clams, participants must have a valid 2004-05 shellfish/seaweed license, available from license vendors across the state and on-line at http://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov.
Under state rules, harvesters are limited to 15 razor clams per day and must keep the first 15 they dig, regardless of size or condition. Each digger’s limit must be kept in a separate container.
For best results, Ayres recommends that people start digging at least one hour before low tide. Low morning tides during the planned opening are as follows:
- Wednesday, May 5: 7:41 a.m. (-1.9)
- Thursday, May 6: 8:27 a.m. (-2.2)
- Friday, May 7: 9:15 a.m. (-2.1)
Areas that will be open razor clam digging May 5-7 on morning tides are:
- Twin Harbors Beach, from the mouth of Willapa Bay north to the mouth of Grays Harbor.
- Kalaloch Beach, from the south beach campground to Brown’s Point (just south of Beach Trail 3) in the Olympic National Park. For more information, consult the Olympic National Park website at www.nps.gov/olym/ or check at the Kalaloch ranger station.
Beaches that will remain closed to razor clam digging include:
- Long Beach, from the Columbia River to Leadbetter Point on the Long Beach Peninsula.
- Copalis Beach, from the Grays Harbor North Jetty to the Copalis River, and includes beaches near Copalis, Ocean Shores, Oyhut and Ocean City.
- Mocrocks Beach, 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.