WDFW approves five days of coastal razor clam digs starting Dec. 13; more digs planned for January and February

News release

Contact: Bryce Blumenthal, 360-249-4628, ext. 232
Media contact: Mark Yuasa, 360-902-2262

Alternative digging schedule approved for Copalis and Mocrocks beaches in January and February

Razor clam diggers try their luck at sunset on a coastal beach
Photo by WDFW

OLYMPIA – Diggers got the go-ahead from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) today to proceed with razor–clam digs starting Dec. 13.

“We had a great tide series of clam digging over Thanksgiving weekend, and we hope the favorable conditions will continue into the December holiday season,” said Bryce Blumenthal, a WDFW coastal shellfish biologist.

Not all beaches are open for every dig, so diggers are encouraged to make sure their intended destination is open before heading out. Optimal digging occurs between one and two hours before the listed time of low tide.

The following digs during afternoon and evening low tides (noon to midnight only) will proceed as scheduled, after marine toxin results from the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) showed razor clams are safe to eat:

  • Dec. 13, Wednesday, 6:55 p.m.; -1.3 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Dec. 14, Thursday, 7:39 p.m.; -1.3 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • Dec. 15, Friday, 8:25 p.m.; -1.2 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Dec. 16, Saturday, 9:12 p.m.; -0.8 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • Dec. 17, Sunday, 10:01 p.m.; -0.3 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks

The DOH requires test samples for marine toxins, and domoic acid levels must fall under the guideline level before a beach can open for digging. Domoic acid, a natural toxin produced by certain types of marine algae, can be harmful or fatal if consumed in sufficient quantities. Final approval usually occurs about a week or less – sometimes two to three days – before the start of each digging series. More information about domoic acid, as well as current levels at ocean beaches, can be found on the WDFW’s domoic acid webpage.

Additional tentative dates in December:

  • Dec. 26, Tuesday, 6:18 p.m.; -0.9 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • Dec. 27, Wednesday, 6:57 p.m.; -0.8 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Dec. 28, Thursday, 7:35 p.m.; -0.6 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • Dec. 29, Friday, 8:11 p.m.; -0.3 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks

WDFW approves digging schedule change

WDFW shellfish managers have agreed to an alternative digging schedule for Copalis and Mocrocks beaches during January and February.

“After considering the potential scheduling change and the public’s feedback, we felt comfortable with altering our current every other day schedule,” Blumenthal said. “The tentative Copalis and Mocrocks dates are grouped into two-day blocks of consecutive digs with some single day digs at the beginning or end of each tide series.”

This approach to offering consecutive open days should reduce confusion as to which beach is open, create more digging opportunity when only one beach is available for harvest, allow for increased digging success due to beach familiarity, and reduce travel to and from open beaches.

All the tidal series have a beach switch after the Saturday dig to allow for both beaches to be dug during the weekend. The schedule is also structured so that there are equal amounts of Saturdays and Sundays for Copalis and Mocrocks beaches only.

"While we see some potential benefits, we don't know exactly what the results of this new scheduling will be until we give it a try,” Blumenthal said. “WDFW welcomes additional feedback as we implement this in 2024.”

WDFW is accepting public comments on the proposed change. The public may email their feedback to razorclams@dfw.wa.gov.

Additional tentative dates in January and February:

  • Jan. 9, Tuesday, 5:02 p.m.; -0.7 feet; Long Beach, Copalis
  • Jan. 10, Wednesday, 5:46 p.m.; -1.2 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Jan. 11, Thursday, 6:28 p.m.; -1.5 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Jan. 12, Friday, 7:11 p.m.; -1.6 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • Jan. 13, Saturday, 7:53 p.m.; -1.3 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • Jan. 14, Sunday, 8:36 p.m.; -0.8 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Jan. 15, Monday, 9:19 p.m.; 0.0 feet; Mocrocks

 

  • Jan. 22, Monday, 4:28 p.m.; -0.1 feet; Mocrocks
  • Jan. 23, Tuesday, 5:13 p.m.; -0.3 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Jan. 24, Wednesday, 5:53 p.m.; -0.4 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • Jan. 25, Thursday, 6:28 p.m.; -0.4 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • Jan. 26, Friday, 7:01 p.m.; -0.2 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Jan. 27, Saturday, 7:32 p.m.; 0.0 feet; Long Beach, Mocrocks
  • Jan. 28, Sunday, 8:02 p.m.; 0.4 feet; Copalis

 

  • Feb. 6, Tuesday, 3:52 p.m.; 0.0 feet; Mocrocks
  • Feb. 7, Wednesday, 4:41 p.m.; -0.7 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • Feb. 8, Thursday, 5:26 p.m.; -1.2 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • Feb. 9, Friday, 6:09 p.m.; -1.4 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Feb. 10, Saturday, 6:49 p.m.; -1.4 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Feb. 11, Sunday, 7:29 p.m.; -1.0 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • Feb. 12, Monday, 8:08 p.m.; -0.3 feet; Long Beach, Copalis

 

  • Feb. 21, Wednesday, 4:56 p.m.; 0.2 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Feb. 22, Thursday, 5:33 p.m.; 0.1 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Feb. 23, Friday, 6:05 p.m.; 0.1 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • Feb. 24, Saturday, 6:34 p.m.; 0.2 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • Feb. 25, Sunday, 7:02 p.m.; 0.4 feet; Long Beach, Mocrocks

On all open beaches, the daily limit is 15 clams per person. Each digger’s clams must be kept in a separate container, and all diggers must keep the first 15 clams they dig, regardless of size or condition, to prevent waste.

All diggers 15 or older must have an applicable fishing license to harvest razor clams on any beach. Licenses can be purchased from WDFW’s licensing website, and from hundreds of license vendors around the state. WDFW recommends buying your license before visiting coastal beach communities.

The updated 2023-24 Razor Clam Management Plan is available on the WDFW website. Reference additional razor clam information on the WDFW razor clam webpage.

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.

Request this information in an alternative format or language at wdfw.wa.gov/accessibility/requests-accommodation, 833-855-1012, TTY (711), or CivilRightsTeam@dfw.wa.gov.