OLYMPIA - Clam diggers have received the go-ahead to proceed with a razor-clam dig starting Friday, March 27.
Three morning digs are scheduled March 27-29 at Twin Harbors and Mocrocks, while Long Beach and Copalis will open March 28-29 only. Digging on all beaches must be completed by noon.
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) authorized the digs after a series of marine toxin tests conducted by the Washington Department of Health confirmed the clams are safe to eat.
As long as the weather cooperates, the weekend should be good for clam digging, said Dan Ayres, WDFW coastal shellfish manager. "This is the first opportunity of the season to dig clams on morning tides," Ayres said. "People should start digging at least an hour before low tide even though it makes for an early day."
Kalaloch Beach in Olympic National Park will remain closed because test digging showed the clams have not grown to harvestable size, Ayres said.
Any 2008 Washington state annual shellfish/seaweed license or combination license is valid for the March opener, but diggers will need a 2009-10 license for digs scheduled after April 1. A license is required for anyone age 15 or older. Razor-clam only licenses are also available in annual or three-day only versions. Descriptions of the various licensing options are available on the WDFW website at https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov .
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.
Ayres said more digs will likely be announced following the openers tentatively scheduled in April. "There's a good chance we'll have enough clams to offer additional digging opportunities on some beaches in May," he said.
March dates and tides:
- Friday, March 27 (7:49 a.m. 0.0 ft.) Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
- Saturday, March 28 (8:29 a.m. -0.4 ft.) Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks
- Sunday, March 29 (9:12 a.m. -0.6 ft.) Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks
Tentatively scheduled digs in April:
- Friday, April 10 (7:45 a.m., -0.7 ft.) Twin Harbors
- Saturday, April 11 (8:25 a.m., -0.7 ft.) Long Beach, Twin Harbors
- Sunday, April 12 (9:05 a.m., -0.5 ft.) Long Beach, Twin Harbors
- Saturday, April 25 (7:27 a.m., -1.3 ft.) Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks
- Sunday, April 26 (8:10 a.m., -1.6 ft.) Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks
- Monday, April 27 (8:55 a.m., -1.7 ft.) Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrock