WDFW approves next round of razor clam digs for Washington coast

Date
Contact

Dan Ayres, 360-249-4628, ext. 209
Public Affairs contact: Eryn Couch, 360-890-6604

OLYMPIA – Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) shellfish managers have approved the next round of razor clam digs, kicking off Tuesday, Oct. 19 on coastal beaches.

The announcement comes after the Washington Department of Health confirmed this week that marine toxin levels are within allowable limits and razor clams from all open beaches are safe to eat.

"As we move into these evening tides it is generally darker and colder with the onset of fall and winter weather,” said Dan Ayres, coastal shellfish manager with WDFW. “We want to remind diggers to come prepared with good lights and proper protective clothing. Diggers should also be sure to check the digging schedule carefully before they head out to ensure they are harvesting on an open beach.”

WDFW encourages diggers to continue to follow guidelines to recreate responsibly, including following all state and local health guidance as COVID cases remain high across Washington. Diggers are urged to be respectful of local residents and communities they may visit while clamming.

The following digs were approved, along with the low tides and beaches:

  • Oct. 19, Tuesday, 6:47 p.m.; 0.3 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • Oct. 20, Wednesday, 7:23 p.m.; 0.0 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Oct. 21, Thursday, 7:58 p.m.; -0.1 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • Oct. 22, Friday, 8:32 p.m.; -0.1 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Oct. 23, Saturday, 9:07 p.m.; 0.0 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • Oct. 24, Sunday, 9:43 p.m.; +0.2 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Oct. 25, Monday, 10:25 p.m.; +0.5 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis

Most successful digging occurs between one and two hours before the listed time of low tide. No digging is allowed before noon during digs when low tide occurs in the afternoon or evening.

All open beaches (Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks, and Copalis) have increased limits through the end of 2021, with diggers allowed to keep 20 clams instead of the usual 15. Each digger’s clams must be kept in a separate container, and all diggers must keep the first 20 clams they dig, regardless of size or condition.

WDFW has tentatively scheduled additional digging dates later in 2021 – details can be found at wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfishing-regulations/razor-clams. All tentative dates are dependent on final marine toxin testing, which usually occurs about a week or less prior to each set of openings. WDFW will announce additional dates in 2022 in mid-December after reviewing harvest levels and projections.

All diggers age 15 or older must have an applicable 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 from WDFW’s licensing website at fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov/login, and from hundreds of license vendors around the state. WDFW recommends buying your license before visiting coastal beach communities for this razor clam season.

To learn more about razor clam abundance, population densities at various beaches, and how seasons are set, visit wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfishing-regulations/razor-clams#management.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife works to preserve, protect and perpetuate fish, wildlife and ecosystems while providing sustainable fish and wildlife recreational and commercial opportunities.

Individuals who need to receive this information in an alternative format, language, or who need reasonable accommodations to participate in WDFW-sponsored public meetings or other activities may contact the Title VI/ADA Compliance Coordinator by phone at 360-902-2349, TTY (711), or email (Title6@dfw.wa.gov). For more information, see https://wdfw.wa.gov/accessibility/requests-accommodation.