OLYMPIA – Clam diggers got the green light today to start harvesting razor clams on designated ocean beaches at noon Wednesday (Oct. 25) following an analysis of test results that indicate the clams are safe to eat.
Marine toxin levels remain low, allowing the fall razor clam season to begin as scheduled, said Dan Ayres, shellfish biologist for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).
Following the season opener Wednesday, digging will also be allowed Friday (Oct. 27) and Saturday (Oct. 28) at all razor clam areas, which include Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks and Kalaloch ocean beaches.
Digging is allowed between noon and midnight all three days.
Additional clamming opportunities in November and December, which are 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:
- Nov. 10-11– Long Beach, Twin Harbors and Kalaloch only
- Nov. 12-16 – Kalaloch only
- Nov. 24-25 – All razor clam beaches
- 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.
The five beaches that will open to razor-clam digging on various dates include:
- Long Beach, from North Head 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, from Ocean Shores to the Copalis River
- Mocrocks Beach, from the Copalis to the Moclips River
- Kalaloch Beach, from the south beach campground to Trail 3 in the Olympic National Park