WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE
NEWS RELEASE
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091

November 08, 2005
Contact: Dan Ayres, WDFW (360) 249-4628
Barb Maynes, ONP, (360) 565-3005

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Razor clam dig starts Nov. 12 on coast

OLYMPIA - Clam diggers have a green light to proceed with the second razor clam dig of the fall starting on Nov. 12 at five ocean beaches. Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks and Kalaloch beaches will all be open to razor clam digging between noon and midnight Nov. 12-14, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) announced today. A fourth evening of digging is scheduled Nov. 15 at Twin Harbors and Mocrocks.

The National Park Service approved the digs at Kalaloch Beach, which is located within Olympic National Park, to coincide with those at the other coastal beaches.

The clam digs were approved after a series of marine toxin tests showed that the clams on all five beaches are safe to eat, said Dan Ayres, WDFW coastal shellfish manager.

“The good news is that we are past the period in early fall when big toxic blooms are most likely to hit our beaches,” Ayres said, adding that diggers will likely be rewarded for braving the November weather. “I expect to see average digger success similar to the 13.8 clams per digger taken during the October opener,” he said.

Olympic National Park Supt. Bill Laitner recommended taking safety precautions during night digs, especially at Kalaloch.

“Kalaloch is considerably more remote than the other clamming beaches, and visitors should be prepared for primitive conditions,” he said. “With no streetlights or lighted buildings in the area, flashlights or lanterns are a necessity.”

Locations of the five beaches that will open to razor-clam digging Saturday are:

  • Long Beach, from the Columbia River north jetty to Leadbetter Point on the Long Beach Peninsula.
  • Twin Harbors, from the south jetty at the mouth of Grays Harbor south to the mouth of Willapa Bay.
  • 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.

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.

For best results, start digging at least one hour before low tide. Low tides for the November digs are:

  • Saturday, Nov. 12, 3:27 p.m., +0.8 feet
  • Sunday, Nov. 13, 4:20 p.m., 0.0 feet
  • Monday, Nov. 14, 5:10 p.m., -0.6 feet
  • Tuesday, Nov. 15, 5:56 p.m., -1.0 feet (Twin Harbors and Mocrocks only)

WDFW has also tentatively scheduled a third dig Dec. 30-Jan. 2, pending the results of a new series of marine toxin tests. Low tides for those dates are:

  • Friday, Dec. 30, 6:07 p.m., -0.8
  • Saturday, Dec. 31, 6:54 p.m., -1.1
  • Sunday, Jan. 1, 7:38 p.m., -1.2
  • Monday, Jan. 2, 8:22 p.m., -0.9 (Twin Harbors and Mocrocks only)

A license is required for anyone age 15 or older. Any 2005 annual shellfish/seaweed license is still valid. Licenses can be purchased via the Internet at http://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/lic/vendors/vendors.htm.

For anyone needing to purchase a license, Ayres strongly recommends doing so before they leave home to avoid long lines that often form at coastal license dealers. To help ease the pressure on coastal dealers, pre-printed annual and three-day razor-clam licenses will be available at Jack’s Country Store in Ocean Park, Seaview Onestop in Seaview and Pioneer Market in Long Beach.

Digging is prohibited in the three quarter-mile-wide razor clam reserves, which are marked by 10-foot metal poles with signs. The reserves are located just south of the Ocean City access road on Copalis Beach, on the county line approach to Twin Harbors Beach, and 2.8 miles north of the Oysterville access road on Long Beach.