OLYMPIA – Good news for razor clam diggers who need to work off their turkey dinner.
The next round of razor clam openings will proceed as planned Friday (Nov. 24) and Saturday (Nov. 25) on ocean beaches, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) announced today.
Tests conducted by the Washington Department of Health indicate that marine toxin levels remain low on all affected beaches, clearing the way for the post-Thanksgiving openings.
Digging will be allowed both days between noon and midnight at all razor clam beaches, which include Long Beach, Twin Harbors (Westport, Grayland, North Cove), Copalis (Ocean Shores, Ocean City and Copalis), Mocrocks (Iron Springs, Roosevelt, Pacific Beach and Moclips) and Kalaloch (between South Beach Campground and Brown's Point, just south of Beach Trail 3).
Most diggers try to begin their trip one to one and a half hours before low tide, said Dan Ayres, WDFW shellfish biologist. A low tide of minus 0.2 feet will occur at 5:24 p.m. on Friday and there will be a low tide of minus 0.4 at 6:07 p.m. Saturday. These early evening tides should allow diggers an opportunity to do some digging before dark.
Additional clamming opportunities in December – also scheduled between noon and midnight – will depend on the results of marine toxin tests conducted by the Washington Department of Health several days prior to the openings.
If toxin levels remain low, clam digging in November and December will proceed on the following schedule:
- Dec. 8-9 – Long Beach, Twin Harbors and Kalaloch only
- Dec. 10-12 – Kalaloch only
- Dec. 13 – Long Beach, Twin Harbors and Kalaloch only
- Dec. 14 – Kalaloch only
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.
Digging is prohibited in the three one-quarter-mile-wide razor clam reserves, which are marked by 10-foot orange metal poles with signs. The reserves are located just south of the Ocean City approach on Copalis; at the county line approach on Twin Harbors Beach; and 2.8 miles north of the Oysterville approach on Long Beach.
Diggers are reminded that they must have their 2000 licenses, as described in the WDFW Fishing in Washington pamphlet.