Two days have been approved for clam digs at Copalis Beach in Grays Harbor.
Copalis Beach extends from the Grays Harbor North Jetty to the Copalis River, and includes Copalis, Ocean Shroes, Oyhut, Ocean City and Copalis areas. State shellfish managers have proposed two days of razor clam digging in February at Copalis beach in addition to an approved a month-long opening at Long Beach scheduled Feb. 4 through March 10.
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has tentatively scheduled a dig on evening tides for Feb. 19 and 20 at Copalis, provided that marine toxin tests show the clams are safe to eat. WDFW will announce final word on the dig about a week before it is scheduled to begin.
The upcoming dig at Copalis is tentatively scheduled on the following dates, pending favorable marine toxin results: * Feb. 19, Friday, 4:33 p.m.; 0.0 feet * Feb. 20, Saturday, 5:17 p.m.; -0.1 feet
Last week, shellfish managers approved a month-long opening on evening tides at Long Beach beginning today through March 10. Dan Ayres, WDFW coastal shellfish manager, reminds diggers at Long Beach that the best digging conditions are on low tides of one foot or lower.
"Diggers should always check the weather before heading to the beach and be mindful of surf conditions while digging," Ayres said. Ayres noted the best digging usually occurs one to two hours prior to low tide. No digging will be allowed before noon any day.
Razor clam digging will remain closed on Washington's other coastal beaches until domoic acid levels drop below the threshold of 20 parts per million set by state public health officials. The natural toxin produced by certain types of marine algae can be harmful or even fatal if consumed in sufficient quantities.
WDFW is continuing to monitor toxin levels on all Washington beaches and will open other areas as soon as clams are safe to eat. Toxin test results can be found on WDFW's domoic acid webpage at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/razorclams/domoic_levels.html
Diggers should monitor WDFW's main razor clam webpage for any potential changes to the Long Beach opening. Under state law, diggers 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.
All diggers age 15 or older must have an applicable 2015-16 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.
Comprehensive information about razor clams - from updates on tentative digs to how-to advice on digging and cooking - is available athttp://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/razorclams/