OLYMPIA, Wash. - The first razor-clam dig of the season will get under way on evening tides Oct. 28-29 at four ocean beaches.
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) approved the dig after marine toxin tests on all four beaches confirmed the clams are safe to eat.
Beaches scheduled to open for the two-day dig include Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis and Mocrocks. No digging will be allowed either day before noon.
All diggers age 15 or older must have an applicable 2011-12 fishing license to harvest razor clams on any beach. Licensing options range from a three-day razor clam license to an annual combination fishing license, which can be purchased on WDFW's website (https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov ) and from license vendors around the state.
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.
"It's important that diggers keep the clams they dig to prevent wastage," said Dan Ayres, WDFW coastal shellfish manager. "It's not unusual to encounter some small clams, especially this early in the season."
For best results, Ayres recommends that clammers start digging an hour or two before the evening low tide. On Oct. 28, an evening low tide of -1.8 feet will occur at 8:28 p.m. The evening low tide Oct. 29 will be -1.5 feet at 9:17 pm.
"This season's tides are not as favorable as those in the past few years," Ayres said. "Low tides will occur later in the day, so diggers will have to be prepared for the dark during evening digs in fall and winter."
WDFW has tentatively scheduled four other razor-clam digs through the end of the year - all pending final approval until future toxin tests confirm the clams are safe to eat. The tentative schedule for future openings is posted on WDFW's website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/razorclams/current.html .