MONTESANO--The fall recreational razor clam season will open Oct. 23 on most coastal beaches, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife announced today.
It is the first opening since all beaches were closed last fall due to marine toxins in the clams.
All clam digging is for afternoon and evening hours only. The following seasons have been set:
Copalis Beach is located from Ocean Shores to the Copalis River; Mocrocks Beach is located from the Copalis River to the Moclips River; Long Beach is the Long Beach Peninsula and Twin Harbors is located from the South Jetty at the mouth of Grays Harbor south to the mouth of Willapa Bay.
- Oct. 23 through Oct. 31: Copalis and Mocrocks, odd-numbered days only
- Oct. 23 through Nov. 11: Long Beach and Twin Harbors, odd-numbered days only
- Nov. 26, 27: Long Beach and Twin Harbors, two consecutive days
- Dec. 20, 21: Long Beach and Twin Harbors, two consecutive days
No sport razor clam season is scheduled for Kalaloch Beach at this time due to continued elevations of domoic acid, a marine toxin. Scientists will continue to monitor the domoic acid levels in razor clams at Kalaloch and other beaches. Kalaloch may be opened later if the toxin levels in the clams are reduced. Emergency closures also may be announced for beaches scheduled to open if toxin levels rise.
WDFW set the fall razor clam seasons after holding public meetings in Long Beach, Westport, Ocean Shores, Tacoma and Spokane. Additional clamming opportunities may be announced after the harvest through December is evaluated.
There are new licensing requirements for sport clam diggers. Resident and non-resident fishers age 15 require a $5 combination youth license. Resident fishers from ages 16 to 69 must have a $7 shellfish/seaweed license. The license costs $5 for seniors age 70 and older. Two-day consecutive licenses cost $6 for residents and non- residents. An annual license for a non-resident age 16 and older costs $20. No license is required for resident and non-resident fishers age 0-14.
The license period also is new and runs from April 1 through March 31 of the following year.
Harvesters may take 15 razor clams. They must keep the first 15 taken, regardless of size or condition. Each digger's limit must be kept in a separate container.
Diggers also are reminded that no digging is permitted in the three, quarter-mile wide razor clam reserves. They are located:
- Just south of the Ocean City approach on Copalis Beach
- At the county line approach on Twin Harbors Beach
- 2.8 miles north of the Oysterville approach on Long Beach
The reserves are marked with 10-foot orange metal poles with signs.