OLYMPIA, Wash. -Clam diggers today got the go-ahead to proceed with the first razor-clam dig of the fall season, starting at noon Thursday, Oct. 7 at Twin Harbors beach and expanding to four other ocean beaches Friday and Saturday.
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) approved the digs at all five beaches after marine toxin tests confirmed the clams were safe to eat.
For the first opening, razor-clam digging will be allowed Oct. 7-10 at Twin Harbors beach and Oct. 8-9 at Copalis, Mocrocks, Kalaloch and Long Beach. No digging will be allowed before noon on any of the five razor-clam beaches.
The National Park Service scheduled the dig at Kalaloch Beach, which is located within the Olympic National Park, to coincide with those at Mocrocks and Copalis beaches.
All diggers age 15 or older must have an applicable 2010-11 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.
Dan Ayres, WDFW coastal shellfish manager, said diggers heading to Copalis and Mocrocks should be aware of a traffic revision on eastbound U.S. Highway 101 in Hoquiam due to emergency work on the Simpson Avenue Bridge.
“This is the only route to those beaches, so people should allow extra travel time to make sure they arrive on time,” Ayres said. He advises diggers to check the Washington Department of Transportation website for updated information at http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/projects/us101/simpsonbridgepierrepair/.
Olympic National Park Superintendent Karen Gustin also recommends that diggers take safety precautions during night digs, especially at Kalaloch.
“Kalaloch is considerably more remote than the other clamming beaches, and visitors should be prepared for primitive conditions,” she said. “With no streetlights or lighted buildings in the area, flashlights or lanterns are a necessity.”
Below is the schedule of approved digging days, along with evening low tides, announced by WDFW and Olympic National Park:
- Oct. 7, Thurs. – 6:55 p.m. (-1.0 ft.), Twin Harbors
- Oct. 8, Fri. – 7:42 p.m. (-1.4 ft.), Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks, Kalaloch
- Oct. 9, Sat. – 8:28 p.m. (-1.5 ft.), Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks, Kalaloch
- Oct. 10, Sun. – 9:15 p.m. (-1.3 ft.), Twin Harbors
Areas opening for digging those days are defined as follows:
- 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.