October 05, 2007
Contact: Dan Ayres, (360) 249-4628
Razor clam season scheduled to open Oct. 25; meeting set to discuss Kalaloch closure
OLYMPIA – The first razor-clam dig of the fall season will get under way Oct. 25 if marine toxin tests show the clams are safe to eat, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) announced today. Additional digging opportunities are planned through the end of December.
Four evening digs are tentatively scheduled at Twin Harbors Oct. 25-28, while Long Beach, Copalis and Mocrocks are scheduled for two evening digs Oct. 26 and 27. Digging will be restricted to the hours between noon and midnight. Kalaloch will remain closed throughout the 2007-08 season.
Scheduling extra days for Twin Harbors was based on results of the annual razor clam stock assessment, said Dan Ayres, coastal shellfish manager for WDFW.
“Results from the 2007 stock assessment were mixed,” Ayres said. “Razor clam populations declined at Long Beach and Mocrocks, but increased on the middle coast. That means we can offer more digging opportunities at Twin Harbors and Copalis during the 2007-08 season.”
The greatest decline in the razor clam population occurred at Kalaloch, causing Olympic National Park and WDFW fishery managers to close the beach, Ayres said. “Unfortunately the numbers are so low at Kalaloch that no recreational digging will be allowed this season,” he said.
A public meeting conducted jointly with staff from Olympic National Park will be held this month in Forks to discuss the decline in the razor clam population at Kalaloch, said Ayres. The meeting will be held Tuesday, Oct. 16 at 7:00 p.m., at the University of Washington’s Olympic Natural Resources Center, 1445 S. Forks Ave.
The best time to start digging is an hour or two before low tide, said Ayres, who recommends taking a lantern for evening digs at all beaches.
Harvesters are allowed to take no more than 15 razor clams and must keep the first 15 they dig, regardless of size or condition. Each digger’s clams must be kept in a separate container.
A license is required for anyone age 15 or older. Any 2007 annual shellfish/seaweed license or combination license is still valid. Another option is a razor-clam only license available in annual or three-day only versions. Descriptions of the various licensing options are available on the WDFW website at https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov. In addition, clam diggers are no longer required to display their licenses on outer clothing.
Tentative opening dates and evening low tides are:
- Thursday, Oct. 25 (6:38 p.m. –1.1) Twin Harbors only
- Friday, Oct. 26 (7:26 p.m. -1.7) all beaches (except Kalaloch)
- Saturday, Oct. 27 (8:14 p.m. -1.9) all beaches (except Kalaloch)
- Sunday, Oct. 28 (9:03 p.m. -1.8) Twin Harbors only
- Friday, Nov. 23 (5:21 p.m. –1.3) all beaches (except Kalaloch)
- Saturday, Nov. 24 (6:11 p.m. -1.7) all beaches (except Kalaloch)
- Sunday, Nov. 25 (7:00 p.m. -1.8) Twin Harbors only
- Monday, Nov. 26 (7:48 p.m. -1.6) Twin Harbors only
- Friday, Dec. 21 (4:12 p.m. –0.4) all beaches (except Kalaloch)
- Saturday, Dec. 22 (5:06 p.m. –0.9) all beaches (except Kalaloch)
- Sunday, Dec. 23 (5:58 p.m. –1.2) Twin Harbors only
Beaches scheduled to open this month are:
- Long Beach, which extends from the Columbia River to Leadbetter Point.
- Twin Harbors Beach, which extends from the mouth of Willapa Bay north to the mouth of Grays Harbor.
- Copalis Beach, which extends from the Grays Harbor North Jetty to the Copalis River, and includes beaches near Copalis, Ocean Shores, Oyhut and Ocean City.
- 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.