The Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife have approved a seven-day razor clam dig starting next week, as well as tentative digs through February.
Razor clam diggers can return to ocean beaches for a seven-day opening beginning Dec. 10.
State shellfish managers with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) approved the dig on evening low tides after marine toxin tests showed the clams are safe to eat.
The approved dig is for the following beaches, dates and low tides:
No digging is allowed before noon for allowed digs, when low tide occurs in the evening.
Ayres notes that low tides around New Years are not low enough for successful razor clam harvest, so digging will not open then.
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. WDFW authorizes each dig independently after getting the results of marine toxin testing.
In addition to the dig next week, a total of 29 dates were tentatively scheduled starting December 23 and running through February.
Proposed razor clam digs for Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis and Mocrocks include:
Final approval of the tentatively scheduled openings will depend on whether results of marine toxin tests show the clams are safe to eat.
Additional safety considerations are important this time of year.
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 website at https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov 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.