Leading into the end of 2019, more clam diggers will be able to hit local beaches.
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife announced that razor clam diggers can return to ocean beaches for five days of digging beginning Dec. 23 and continuing through Dec. 29 with a break in the middle for the Christmas holiday.
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.
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. Final approval of the tentatively scheduled openings will depend on whether results of marine toxin tests show the clams are safe to eat.
Ayres notes that low tides around New Years are not low enough for successful razor clam harvest, so digging will not open then.
Additional safety considerations are important this time of year.
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.
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.