MONTESANO – The fall recreational razor clam season is scheduled to open Oct. 25 at noon, pending the results of a final test for marine toxins.
The one-day dig at Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks and Kalaloch ocean beaches is the first of a series of clamming opportunities through December, announced today by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).
As always, diggers should check the agency's Shellfish Hotline (360-796-3215) and the Marine Toxin Hotline (1-800-562-5632) before departing on a clamming trip, since all openings are contingent on the number of remaining clams available for harvest and approval from the state Department of Health.
Dan Ayres, WDFW razor clam biologist, said this year's fall season is similar to last year's, although it also reflects comments received at public meetings held in five communities in September and via the Internet.
"The general sentiment was that people liked the way the season was structured last year, although there were a few things they wanted to see fine-tuned," Ayres said. "We tried to accommodate people's suggestions as best we could within the limitations posed by the tides and the amount of clams available for harvest."
Under the season announced today, razor clam digging will be allowed between noon and midnight at the beaches and times shown below.
- Oct 25 – All razor clam beaches: Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks and Kalaloch
- Oct 27-28 – All razor clam beaches
- 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
Additional openings may be announced after the results of the December harvest are analyzed, Ayres said.
One change this year is that the season includes a two-day opening on all razor clam beaches following Thanksgiving – a very popular time for digging. The season is also designed to accommodate both those who want digging opportunities during consecutive days and those who want them spread out through the month, Ayres said.
"We have a variety of openings, with at least one every month between October and December," Ayres said.
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.