OLYMPIA – Clam diggers today got a green light to proceed with a two-day razor clam dig Nov. 11-12 at three ocean beaches.
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) approved the dig after marine toxin tests showed that the clams on the three beaches are safe to eat.
Beaches scheduled to open for the two-day dig include Long Beach, Twin Harbors and Mocrocks. No digging will be allowed either day before noon.
All diggers age 15 or older must have an applicable 2011-12 fishing license to harvest razor clams on any beach. Licensing options range from a three-day razor clam license to an annual combination fishing license, which can be purchased on WDFW's website (https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov) and from license vendors around the state.
Under state law, diggers can take 15 razor clams per day, and are required to keep the first 15 they dig. Each digger's clams must be kept in a separate container.
"It's important that diggers keep the clams they dig to prevent wastage," said Dan Ayres, WDFW coastal shellfish manager. "It's not unusual to encounter some small clams, especially this early in the season."
For best results, Ayres recommends that clammers start digging an hour or two before the evening low tide. On Nov. 11, an evening low tide of -0.4 feet will occur at 6:48 p.m. The evening low tide Nov. 12 will be -0.4 feet at 7:23 pm.
"This season's tides are not as favorable as those in the past few years," Ayres said. "Low tides will occur later in the day, so diggers will have to be prepared for the dark during evening digs in fall and winter."
Copalis Beach is not included in the two-day dig, said Ayres, who cautions diggers to observe the boundary between Mocrocks Beach and Copalis Beach, which are adjacent to one another north of Grays Harbor.
Mocrocks Beach, which is open for digging Nov. 11-12, lies north of the Copalis River and includes Iron Springs, Roosevelt Beach, Seabrook, Pacific Beach and Moclips.
Copalis Beach, which will be closed for the dig, lies south of the Copalis River and includes Ocean Shores, Oyhut, Ocean City and Copalis.
WDFW has tentatively scheduled three other razor-clam digs through the end of the year – all pending final approval until future toxin tests confirm the clams are safe to eat. The tentative schedule for future openings is posted on WDFW's website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/razorclams/current.html.