OLYMPIA, Wash. - Clam diggers got the go-ahead to proceed with the second razor-clam dig of the fall season starting Wednesday, Nov. 4, on evening tides at two ocean beaches.
Twin Harbors will open for four late-evening digs Nov. 4-7, while Long Beach will open on Nov. 4, 6 and 7 only. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) approved the digs after a series of marine toxin tests confirmed the clams were safe to eat.
Digging at the beaches will be restricted to the hours between noon and midnight. Additional digging opportunities are planned at five ocean beaches in mid-November.
Dan Ayres, WDFW coastal shellfish manager, said the department was able to offer the early November digs at Long Beach and Twin Harbors due to the abundant razor clam populations on those beaches.
"With more clams available for harvest south of Grays Harbor, we can offer these digging opportunities in addition to the ones that will include all beaches coming up later this month," Ayres said.
The best time to start digging is an hour or two before low tide, said Ayres, who also recommends that clam diggers take lights or lanterns and check weather and surf conditions 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.
A license is required for anyone age 15 or older. Any 2009 annual shellfish/seaweed license or combination fishing license is still valid. Another option is a razor-clam only license available in annual or three-day only versions. Descriptions of the various options are available on the WDFW website at fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov.
Opening dates and evening low tides are:
- Wednesday, Nov. 4 (7:33 p.m. -1.3 ft.) Long Beach, Twin Harbors
- Thursday, Nov. 5 (8:18 p.m. -1.2 ft.) Twin Harbors
- Friday, Nov. 6 (9:07 p.m. -0.9 ft.) Long Beach, Twin Harbors
- Saturday, Nov. 7 (9:59 p.m. -0.5 ft.) Long Beach, Twin Harbors
In addition, WDFW has tentatively scheduled three other digs through Jan. 3.
Dates scheduled in mid-November are:
- Saturday, Nov. 14 (4:34 p.m. -0.3 ft.) Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks
- Sunday, Nov. 15 (5:21 p.m. -0.7 ft.) Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks
- Monday, Nov. 16 (6:05 p.m. -0.9 ft.) Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks, Kalaloch
- Tuesday, Nov. 17 (6:47 p.m. -0.8 ft.) Twin Harbors
Dates scheduled Dec. 2 through Jan. 3 are:
- Wednesday, Dec. 2 (6:32 p.m. -1.2 ft.) Long Beach, Twin Harbors
- Thursday, Dec. 3 (7:18 p.m. -1.4 ft.) Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks
- Friday, Dec. 4 (8:04 p.m. -1.3 ft.) Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks, Kalaloch
- Saturday, Dec. 5 (8:51 p.m. -0.9 ft.) Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks, Kalaloch
- Thursday, Dec. 31 (6:16 p.m. -1.1 ft.) Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks, Kalaloch
- Friday, Jan. 1 (7:01 p.m. -1.8 ft.) Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks, Kalaloch
- Saturday, Jan. 2 (7:45 p.m. -1.6 ft.) Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks
- Sunday, Jan. 3 (8:29 p.m. -1.2 ft.) Twin Harbors
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.