WDFW approves four days of razor clam digging starting Friday, March 20

Date
Contact

Dan Ayres, 360-249-4628; Jason Wettstein, 360-902-2254

 

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COVID-19 and Razor Clam Digging: WDFW recognizes that we are facing extraordinary times and urges all Washington citizens to take extra precautions to keep yourself, your family and the entire community of Washington healthy.  Razor clam digs typically bring visitors from throughout Washington. We recognize that travel at this time should be done with great deliberation for your health, and the health of the receiving community.  In the course of considering this dig, we consulted with county health officials in both Grays Harbor and Pacific Counties. We also consulted with the Washington Department of Health and the Governor’s office to determine if this clam opener should proceed. Based on the determinations of local and state government, we will continue to offer this outdoor activity.

In offering this activity, we ask that you to follow WDOH guidelines.  In particular:

    • Do not travel if you are sick, someone in your household is sick or you have conditions that put you at higher risk.
    • Symptoms or not, please also practice good personal hygiene and maintain “social distancing” of at least six feet while on the beach. 

In addition, please recognize that these small towns need the grocery stores to remain stocked for local residents.  So please be judicious in purchasing what is needed for your time at the beach. Restaurants and bars are closed at this time, so please make sure you have brought the provisions you will need to enjoy your day.   

Please visit WDFW COVID-19 Updates for more information.

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OLYMPIA – Razor clam diggers can round up their shovels, clam guns and tubes for a four-day dig beginning March 20.

Kid smiling with just dug razor clams.
Razor clamming at MocrocksCameron Lefler

State shellfish managers with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) approved a dig on evening low tides after recent marine toxin tests showed the clams are safe to eat.

The approved dig is for the following beaches, dates and low tides:

  • March 20, Friday 5:27 pm, 0.4 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • March 21, Saturday, 6:07 pm, 0.4 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis 
  • March 22, Sunday, 6:41 pm, 0.4 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • March 23, Monday, 7:12 pm, 0.5 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis

No digging is allowed before noon when low tide occurs in the evening.

"We are approving this dig based on favorable marine toxin findings, but folks should use their own judgment and consider COVID-19 when making travel plans," said Larry Phillips, WDFW coastal region director, referencing recent announcements that razor clam festivals centered on Ocean Shores and Long Beach have been postponed. 

For a list of proposed razor clam digs on Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis and Mocrocks beaches through April, please see our razor clam webpage.

WDFW authorizes each dig independently after getting the results of marine toxin testing. Final approval of the tentatively scheduled openings will depend on whether results of marine toxin tests show the clams are safe to eat.

In order to ensure conservation of clams for future generations, WDFW sets tentative razor clam seasons that are based on the results from an annual coast-wide razor clam stock assessment and by considering harvest to date. To see videos of WDFW’s sustainable management work for razor clam seasons, visit our razor clam page.

WDFW is also asking razor clam fans around the state to weigh in on the perennial question: Which is better, clam gun or shovel? To register support for a favored digging method, clam diggers can post a photo or video, complete with hashtag #TeamClamShovel or #TeamClamGun on any social media before the end of the spring season.

All diggers age 15 or older must have an applicable 2019-20 fishing license to harvest razor clams on any beach. Licenses, ranging from a three-day razor clam license to an annual combination fishing license, are available on WDFW's licensing website and from license vendors around the state.

Under state law, diggers at open beaches can take 15 razor clams per day and are required to keep the first 15 they dig. Each digger's clams must be kept in a separate container.

Persons with disabilities who need to receive this information in an alternative format or who need reasonable accommodations to participate in WDFW-sponsored public meetings or other activities may contact Dolores Noyes by phone (360-902-2349), TTY (360-902-2207), or email (dolores.noyes@dfw.wa.gov). For more information, see https://wdfw.wa.gov/accessibility/requests-accommodation.