SOUTH BEND - Razor clam digging continues Tuesday through Monday on local beaches. There are several more dates running through the end of the years after shellfish managers with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) announced a total of 62 tentative dates for razor clam digs at beaches along the Washington coast.
Final approval of tentatively scheduled openings depends on results of marine toxin tests. Much of the 2020-21 razor clam season was impacted by high domoic acid levels, but this year's season so far is looking good, both in terms of clam abundance and domoic acid, according WDFW Coastal Shellfish Manager Dan Ayres.
"Similar to last year's preseason indications, we're estimating very strong razor clam populations at most coastal beaches," Ayres said. "We're optimistic that diggers will have plenty of great opportunities to dig for these clams this fall and winter."
All open beaches (Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks, and Copalis) will also 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.
"We're confident that these beaches can support the increased harvest, at least through the end of the year," Ayres said. "We'll re-evaluate before announcing the 2022 digging dates to see if we need to adjust the limit."
Kalaloch Beach will not open due to continuing issues with depressed populations of harvestable clams.
With COVID-19 still impacting communities throughout Washington, officials are asking diggers to continue practicing social distancing, following local and state guidance on masks and face coverings, and being respectful of local communities and residents.
"We're extremely grateful to everyone who helped this season come together, including local leaders, county health officers, and Washington State Parks," WDFW Coastal Region Director Larry Phillips said. "We'll be working hard to help ensure a safe, productive digging season, and the public can do their part by following health and safety guidelines."
Below are the dates for the next seven days, along with low tides and beaches. Most successful digging occurs between one and two hours before the listed time of low tide. All dates are tentative pending final marine toxin testing, which usually occurs about a week or less prior to each set of openings.
* Oct. 19, Tuesday, 6:47 pm; 0.3 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
* Oct. 20, Wednesday, 7:23 pm; 0.0 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
* Oct. 21, Thursday, 7:58 pm; -0.1 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
* Oct. 22, Friday, 8:32 pm; -0.1 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
* Oct. 23, Saturday, 9:07 pm; 0.0 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
* Oct. 24, Sunday, 9:43 pm; +0.2 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
* Oct. 25, Monday, 10:25 pm; +0.5 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
No digging is allowed before noon during digs when low tide occurs in the afternoon or evening. 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.
More information can be found on WDFW's razor clam webpage at https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfishing-regulations/razor-clams.
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife works to preserve, protect, and perpetuate fish, wildlife and ecosystems while providing sustainable fish, wildlife, and recreational and commercial opportunities.
Individuals who need to receive this information in an alternative format, language, or who need reasonable accommodations to participate in WDFW-sponsored public meetings or other activities may contact the Title VI/ADA Compliance Coordinator by phone at 360-902-2349, TTY (711), or email (Title6@dfw.wa.gov). For more information, see https://wdfw.wa.gov/accessibility/requests-accommodation.