Dec. 11-14 Razor Clam Dig Approved In Washington; Two More Winter Digs Scheduled
Four evening digs are scheduled at Copalis and Mocrocks Dec. 11-14, while Long Beach and Twin Harbors are scheduled for three evening digs Dec. 12-14. Digging will be restricted to the hours between noon and midnight.
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) approved the digs at the four beaches after a series of marine toxin tests confirmed the clams were safe to eat.
Dan Ayres, WDFW coastal shellfish manager, suggests that clam diggers take lights or lanterns with them to take advantage of evening tides. He also recommends checking weather and surf forecasts before heading out.
Harvesters are allowed to take no more than 15 razor clams and must keep the first 15 they dig, regardless of size or condition. Each digger’s clams must be kept in a separate container. Most diggers at the November opener were getting their limits and the December dig should offer similar success, Ayres said.
Ayres added that overall catch estimates were on track with pre-season predictions, allowing WDFW to announce the harvest dates in January and February.
Ayres reminds diggers that a license is required for anyone age 15 or older. Any 2008 annual shellfish/seaweed license or combination fishing license is valid. Another option is a razor-clam only license available in annual or three-day only versions. Descriptions of the various licensing options are available on the WDFW website at http://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov. Clam diggers are not required to display their licenses on outer clothing.
Kalaloch Beach in Olympic National Park (ONP) will remain closed through the winter but may open in spring 2009 if the clam population grows to harvestable size. WDFW and ONP jointly manage the recreational razor clam fishery at Kalaloch.
For best results, Ayres recommends that people start digging at least one hour before low tide. Opening dates and evening low tides are:
- Thursday, Dec. 11 (5:23 p.m. -1.1 ft.) Copalis, Mocrocks
- Friday, Dec. 12 (6:13 p.m. -1.5 ft.) Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks
- Saturday, Dec. 13 (7:02 p.m. -1.6 ft.) Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks
- Sunday, Dec. 14 (7:50 p.m. -1.4 ft.) Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks
Beaches scheduled to open are:
- Long Beach, which extends from the Columbia River to Leadbetter Point.
- Twin Harbors Beach, which extends from the mouth of Willapa Bay north to the south jetty at the mouth of Grays Harbor.
- Copalis Beach, which extends from the Grays Harbor north jetty to the Copalis River, and includes the Copalis, Ocean Shores, Oyhut, Ocean City and Copalis areas.
- Mocrocks Beach, which extends from the Copalis River to the southern boundary of the Quinault Reservation near the Moclips River, including Iron Springs, Roosevelt Beach, Pacific Beach and Moclips.
Digs tentatively scheduled for January and February:
- Thursday, Jan. 8 (4:13 p.m. -0.2 ft.) Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks
- Friday, Jan. 9 (5:07 p.m. -0.8 ft.) Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks
- Saturday, Jan. 10 (5:58 p.m. -1.1 ft.) Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks
- Sunday, Jan. 11, (6:45 p.m. -1.2 ft.) Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks
- Friday, Feb. 6 (3:55 p.m. -0.1 ft.) Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks
- Saturday, Feb. 7 (4:50 p.m., -0.4 ft.) Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks
- Sunday, Feb. 8 (5:39 p.m. -0.6 ft.) Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks