OLYMPIA - The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is now accepting public comments on digging days, catch limits and other management options for the upcoming razor clam season.
Suggestions for the 2011-12 season, tentatively set to begin in late October, can be sent via email to email@example.com or by Postal Service to: RazorClams, 48 Devonshire Rd., Montesano, WA 98563.
Comments regarding fall digging opportunities must be received by Sept. 29, although WDFW will consider other suggestions throughout the season. Information about current razor-clam stocks, marine toxins and digging options is available on WDFW’s website at http://bit.ly/rpeWt8.
Like last year, WDFW is soliciting public comments on digging options by mail and email as a lower-cost alternative to conducting a series of public meetings, said Dan Ayres, WDFW coastal shellfish manager.
"We welcome public feedback in developing razor-clam seasons, but state budget reductions have made it necessary to change our approach," Ayres said. "We received a lot of good suggestions last year, and we look forward to hearing from diggers on this year’s season."
During the 2010-11 season, clam diggers harvested about 3.2 million razor clams on the five ocean beaches open for digging on the Washington coast. Somewhat fewer clams will be available for harvest this year, due to the natural cycle of the Washington coast’s razor-clam populations, Ayres said.
"The total number of clams may be down this year, but we still expect good digging on most beaches," he said.