October 14, 2008
Contact: Dan Ayres, (360) 249-4628
Razor clam season starts Thursday;
Kalaloch will remain closed
OLYMPIA – Clam diggers today got the go-ahead to proceed with the first razor-clam dig of the fall season starting Thursday, Oct. 16. Additional digging opportunities are planned through mid-December.
Three evening digs are scheduled at Twin Harbors, Copalis and Mocrocks Oct. 16-18, while Long Beach is scheduled for two evening digs Oct. 17 and 18. Digging will be restricted to the hours between noon and midnight.
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) approved the digs at the four beaches after a series of marine toxin tests confirmed the clams were safe to eat.
Kalaloch Beach in Olympic National Park (ONP) will remain closed at least until spring 2009, said Karen Gustin, ONP superintendent.
“Kalaloch was closed for the entire season last year because the clam population was so low,” Gustin said. “But there is a population of small clams now at Kalaloch that may grow to harvestable size by spring.”
Gustin said biologists would continue to monitor their growth and survival throughout the fall and winter.
WDFW and ONP jointly manage the recreational razor clam fishery at Kalaloch.
For the beaches that are open to digging, Ayres suggests clam diggers take lights or lanterns with them due to the times of the low tides. He also recommended checking weather and surf forecasts before heading out.
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 2008 annual shellfish/seaweed license or combination fishing 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 fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov. Clam diggers are not required to display their licenses on outer clothing.
Ayres said more harvest dates would be announced following the December opener.
Opening dates and evening low tides in October are:
- Thursday, Oct. 16 (8:30 p.m. -1.5) Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks
- Friday, Oct. 17 (9:17 p.m. -1.5) Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks
- Saturday, Oct. 18 (10:08 p.m. -1.2) Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks
WDFW has tentatively scheduled two other digs through December:
- Thursday, Nov. 13 (6:27 p.m. -1.6) Copalis, Mocrocks
- Friday, Nov. 14 (7:15 p.m. -1.8) Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks
- Saturday, Nov. 15 (8:04 p.m. -1.6) Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks
- Sunday, Nov. 16 (8:54 p.m. -1.2) Long Beach, Twin Harbors Copalis, Mocrocks
- Thursday, Dec. 11 (5:23 p.m. -1.1) Copalis, Mocrocks
- Friday, Dec. 12 (6:13 p.m. -1.5) Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks
- Saturday, Dec. 13 (7:02 p.m. -1.6) Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks
- Sunday, Dec. 14 (7:50 p.m. -1.4) Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks
Beaches scheduled to open 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 south jetty at the mouth of Grays Harbor.
- Copalis Beach, which extends from the Grays Harbor north jetty to the Copalis River, and includes the Copalis, Ocean Shores, Oyhut, Ocean City and Copalis areas.
- 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.