As diggers prepare for a weeklong clam dig on local beaches starting Thursday, state shellfish managers have tentatively scheduled razor clam digs on ocean beaches for dates through April.
Final approval of all scheduled openings will depend on whether results of marine toxin tests show the clams are safe to eat.
WDFW typically announces whether a dig will go forward about a week before the opening, said Ayres.
The approved dig is for the following beaches, dates and low tides:
The tentative razor clam digs, along with low tides and beaches, are listed below.
Digging is not allowed before noon for the March and early April digs where low tide occurs in the evening.
No digging is allowed after noon for April digs — listed below — where low tide occurs in the morning.
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.
Two razor clam digging weekends, in particular, should not be missed, said Ayres. “The Ocean Shores Razor Clam and Seafood Festival on March 21 and 22, and the Long Beach Razor Clam Festival on April 11 are long-running events that celebrate the unique contribution of razor clams to Washington’s culture and coastal communities.”
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 (starting at $9.70) to an annual combination fishing license, are available on WDFW’s website at https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov and from some 600 license vendors around the state.
Ayres reminds razor clam diggers, that anyone gathering clams in April will need a new 2020 license to participate. 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.
Razor clam diggers can find detailed beach maps that indicate locations and local names for beaches on WDFW’s website at https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfishing-regulations/razor-clams#beachmaps.
WDFW 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.