OLYMPIA – State shellfish managers have tentatively scheduled razor clam digs on ocean beaches for 12 days starting Mar. 16 and extending into late April.
Final approval of all scheduled openings at Copalis, Mocrocks, Long Beach, Kalaloch and Twin Harbors beaches will depend on whether results of marine toxin tests show the clams are safe to eat.
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) typically announces whether a dig will go forward about a week before the opening, said Dan Ayres, coastal shellfish manager for the department.
Ayres noted the first three digs in March are on evening low tides, while those that follow are on morning low tides.
No digging is allowed before noon during evening digs and digging must be completed by noon during morning digs.
WDFW will consider additional dates later this spring if enough clams remain available for harvest, Ayres said.
The proposed razor clam digs, along with low tides and beaches, are listed below:
- March 16, Saturday, 3:43 p.m.; 0.3 feet; Twin Harbors, Copalis (during the Ocean Shores Razor Clam Festival);
- March 17, Sunday, 4:43 p.m.; -0.2 feet; Twin Harbors (during the Ocean Shores Razor Clam Festival), Mocrocks;
- March 21, Thursday, 7:48 p.m.; -0.5 feet; Mocrocks
Switch to a.m. tides.
- March 22, Friday, 8:14 a.m.; -0.2 feet; Twin Harbors, Mocrocks, Kalaloch;
- March 23, Saturday, 9:01 a.m.; -0.3 feet; Twin Harbors, Copalis, Kalaloch
- March 24, Sunday, 9:49 a.m.; -0.3 feet; Twin Harbors, Mocrocks, Kalaloch
- April 6, Saturday, 8:05 a.m.; 0.3 feet; Twin Harbors, Copalis
- April 7, Sunday, 8:42 a.m.; 0.1 feet; Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
- April 8, Monday, 9:20 a.m.; 0.0 feet; Mocrocks
- April 20, Saturday, 7:58 a.m.; -1.1 feet; Long Beach (during the Long Beach Razor Clam Festival), Twin Harbors, Copalis;
- April 21, Sunday, 8:42 a.m.; -1.2 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
- April 22, Monday, 9:25 a.m.; -1.0 feet; Twin Harbors Mocrocks
All diggers age 15 or older must have an applicable fishing license to harvest razor clams on any beach. New 2019-20 fishing licenses will be required for dates in April.
Licenses, ranging from a three-day razor clam license (starting at $9.70) to an annual combination fishing license, are available on WDFW’s website at https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov and from license vendors around the state.
In order to ensure conservation of clams for future generations, WDFW sets tentative razor clam seasons that are based on the results from the annual coast-wide razor clam stock assessment and by considering harvest to date. WDFW authorizes each dig independently after getting the results of marine toxin testing.
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.
More information can be found on WDFW’s razor clam webpage at https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/razorclams/.
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is the primary state agency tasked with preserving, protecting and perpetuating fish and wildlife and ecosystems, while providing sustainable fishing and hunting opportunities. WDFW razor clam digs support outdoor lifestyles and coastal economies.