OLYMPIA – Clam diggers got the go-ahead to proceed with an evening razor-clam dig starting Wednesday, Dec. 2, with an additional four-day dig tentatively scheduled to start New Year’s Eve.
Evening digs are scheduled Dec. 2-5 at Twin Harbors and Dec. 3-5 at Copalis and Mocrocks. Long Beach will be open Dec. 2, 4 and 5, while Kalaloch Beach will be open to digging Dec. 4 and 5.
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) gave final approval after a series of marine toxin tests confirmed the clams were safe to eat.
Digs at all beaches will be held on evening tides, with digging restricted to the hours between noon and midnight.
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The National Park Service approved the two-day dig at Kalaloch Beach, located within Olympic National Park, to coincide with those at the other beaches.
Dan Ayres, WDFW coastal shellfish manager, reminds clam diggers to check weather and surf forecasts before heading out.
Olympic National Park Superintendent Karen Gustin also reinforced taking night dig safety precautions, especially at Kalaloch.
“Kalaloch is considerably more remote than the other clamming beaches, and visitors should be prepared for primitive conditions,” Gustin said. “With no streetlights or lighted buildings in the area, flashlights or lanterns are a necessity.”
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 https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov.
Digging days and tides 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
Additional digging days and tides tentatively scheduled are:
- 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.
- 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.
- Kalaloch Beach, which extends from the South Beach Campground to Brown’s Point (just south of Beach Trail 3) in the Olympic National Park.