Clam digging returns to the coast beginning Sunday, October 3.
Washington State Department of Fish & Wildlife shellfish managers approved the latest round of razor clam digs after the Washington Department of Health confirmed Tuesday that marine toxin levels are within allowable limits and razor clams from all open beaches are safe to eat.
According to Dan Ayres, coastal shellfish manager, an estimated 55,700 diggers harvested over 1 million clams in the September opening.
“I don’t think we could’ve asked for a better first round of digs,” Ayres said. “Some days nearly every digger was getting their 20 clams, and we came very close to what we projected the catch would be.”
A.M. TIDES ONLY:
P.M. TIDES ONLY:
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.
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.
WDFW has tentatively scheduled dozens of additional digging dates in 2021 – details of those dates can be found at https://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 encourages diggers to continue to follow responsible recreation guidelines, 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.
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 https://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 https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfishing-regulations/razor-clams#management.