WDFW tentatively schedules razor clam digs through December, New Year’s Eve

OLYMPIA – The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has tentatively scheduled three razor clam digs for December, including 15 total digging days in the month and a three-day New Year’s Eve dig at four coastal razor clam beaches.

Dan Ayres, WDFW coastal shellfish manager, said final word on the first series of digs will be announced after marine-toxin test results confirm clams are safe to eat prior to each dig.

“Although these digs are still tentative, tide levels look good,” said Ayres. “That’s especially true for the eight-day dig beginning Nov. 30, and for the New Year’s Eve dig.”

He highlighted ample opportunities to dig tasty razors for holiday celebrations this year.

“Razor clam digging on New Year’s Eve has become a tradition for many Washingtonians,” said Ayres. “The tides aren’t conducive to a holiday dig every year, but they’re with us in 2013.”

In past years, as many as 20,000 people have descended on ocean beaches to dig razor clams on New Year’s Eve, Ayres said. 

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  • Aberdeen VFW Plans to rebuild Post

    ABERDEEN, Wash. – “The Aberdeen Post of the Veterans of Foreign Wars is coming back:” says Commander Jim Daly.  “We hope to be beginning construct very soon, providing the weather cooperates a little bit.  We have struck a deal with Anchor bank for a loan, and with Western Washington Construction to repair our roof.”


    The building was closed for safety reasons in May of 2012 with damage to the ceiling and rafters of the 1908 former Bijou Theater.  Since that time the Post and Auxiliary officers have been working hard to carry on our programs at other local facilities like the Eagles, American Legion, WorkSource, and the 40 et 8.  They have also been working to raise money, while contacting many contractors for bids, and working with Anchor Bank for a loan for the repairs. 


    The project will involve removing the roof and rafters on the main hall (but not the bar area), and replace them with engineered trusses.  Paul Schenkel, of Western Washington Construction, says:  “We are proud to work for the veterans who have given so much for this country and this community.  We are hoping for a break in the weather to get started in the next week or two, so that we could possibly have the building closed in and roofed by the end of October.”

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  • Last Razor Clam Dig of 2010, First of 2011

    Clam diggers can ring in 2011 with a three-day razor clam dig on Washington’s coastal beaches over the New Year’s holiday. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) approved the series of evening digs after marine toxin tests showed that the clams on all five coastal razor clam beaches are safe to eat.

    Opening dates and evening low tides for the upcoming dig are:

    • Dec. 31, Fri. – 3:40 p.m., (0 ft.), Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks, Kalaloch
    • Jan. 1, Sat. – 4:31 p.m., (-0.4 ft.), Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks, Kalaloch
    • Jan. 2, Sun. – 5:18 p.m., (-0.7 ft.), Twin Harbors

    No digging will be allowed on any beach before noon.  Diggers should note that low tide on Dec. 31 will occur at 3:40 p.m., setting the stage for the first daylight dig of the season.

    In early January, WDFW will release a tentative schedule of digging days in early 2011. As in the past, final approval of those dates will depend on the results of future marine toxin tests.

    Under WDFW rules, harvesters may take no more than 15 razor clams and must keep the first 15 taken, regardless of size or condition. Each digger’s limit must be kept in a separate container.

    A license is required for anyone age 15 or older. Any 2010 annual shellfish/seaweed, razor clam or combination license is still valid. Licenses can be purchased via the Internet at http://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov, by telephone (1-866-246-9453) or in person at more than 600 license vendors throughout the state.

    Washington’s razor clam beaches include:

    • 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.
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  • Special Weather Statement for Grays Harbor County

        The National Weather Service has issued a Special Weather Statement for the Southwest Washington Coast, indicating a increasing threat for coastal flooding Thursday through Saturday over this New Year’s Holiday.
       Increasingly high astronomical tides, due to a full Moon, Southwest winds ranging from 20-33 MPH and very large coastal wave swells between 20-25 feet will combine to create minor to moderate tidal overflow conditions.
       There will be two wind episodes that will impact the coastal areas. The first will begin Thursday afternoon which will arrive at the same time as one of the highest high tides of the year.  The second Southwesterly wind episode will develop midday Friday (New Year’s Day) and continue through Saturday morning. A full Moon and extremely dangerous surf conditions with swells reaching 20-25 feet by Friday afternoon and lasting into the late night hours will add to the problems. The chance of tidal flooding is far greater over Friday into Saturday. Rain will continue to fall and the runoff into the rivers will add to the magnitude of the tidal and coastal flooding.
       There is still uncertainty as to how much of an impact these conditions will create upon the area.
       Grays Harbor County Emergency Management is asking all who venture onto the beaches for the area Clam digs over the New Year’s Holiday to exercise extreme caution. DO NOT TURN YOUR BACK TO THE SEA! Dangerous wave swells will be very unpredictable and can reach 20-25 feet with long runs up the beaches by the onrushing water. Waves will be powerful enough to sweep a person from the beach. Be alert for logs, debris and beach erosion, as this is common during high surf conditions.  
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  • Best bid, proposal announced for SR 520 floating bridge pontoons

    On December 23, we took an important step toward replacing the vulnerable State Route 520 floating bridge. We announced the contractor team with the apparent best value for building the new SR 520 floating bridge concrete pontoons in Grays Harbor County.

    Kiewit-General Joint Venture submitted a $367.3 million bid, which is $180 million less than the state engineer’s estimate for the project. The team had the best combination of bid price and technical score, which reflected proposed plans for a pontoon construction facility, how quickly the new pontoons could be built, and environmental protections.

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  • State liquor stores closed on Christmas Day, Dec. 25; Most open on New Year’s Day

    OLYMPIA – All state-run liquor stores will be closed on Friday, Dec. 25, in observation of Christmas. Most state stores will be open on New Year’s Day, Jan. 1.

    For a list of state liquor stores open on New Year’s Day, click here.
    Contract liquor stores may be open on both holidays. Please contact contract stores directly for their holiday operating schedules.
    Christmas holiday hours at state stores
    • Christmas Eve, Dec. 24: State stores close at 6 p.m.
    • Christmas Day, Dec. 25: Closed
    • Saturday, Dec. 26: Open regular hours
    New Year holiday hours at state stores
    • New Year’s Eve, Dec. 31: State stores close at 8 p.m.
    • New Year’s Day, Jan. 1: Most state stores open 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Click here for the list of open state stores.
    • Saturday, Jan. 2: Open regular hours
    Store schedules and phone numbers are available on the Washington State Liquor Control Board Web site at www.liq.wa.gov.
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  • Grays Harbor Community Hospital CEO John Mitchell Resigns

    Aberdeen, WA –  Friday Mike Melville, Chairman of the Board of Directors at Grays Harbor Community Hospital, announced that President & CEO John W. Mitchell has resigned his position, effective December 31, 2009.  John and his wife Paula are permanently relocating to Colorado due to a family obligation that can no longer be effectively managed from out of state.
    Mitchell arrived in June of 2005 to take the helm of the financially struggling community hospital. “Without a doubt, John Mitchell transformed our hospital” said Melville. “Through his inspirational leadership, he made all of us – employees, Medical Staff, Board of Directors – believe we could achieve national levels of quality, safety and patient satisfaction that, quite frankly, our community never thought could be gained.”
    Mitchell’s approach to management – stressing, what he calls, “Servant Leadership” and workplace culture had a noticeable impact at the hospital.
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  • Next razor-clam digs tentatively set late this month, mid-February

    OLYMPIA — The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has announced plans for another razor-clam dig this month and one in February, so long as marine toxin tests continue to show the clams are safe to eat.


    Provided that upcoming tests are favorable, clam diggers will get their next chance to hit the beach Jan. 20-22 at Twin Harbors and Long Beach. The National Park Service has also scheduled a dig Jan. 21-22 at Kalaloch, located inside the Olympic National Park, to coincide with those at the other two beaches.


    Digging at all three beaches will be restricted to the hours between noon and midnight. 

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  • Sport Clam Season to Open at Belfair State Park in Mason County

    OLYMPIA, Wash – The sport clam fishing season at Belfair State Park is re-opening.  The Department of Fish and Wildlife said the sport clam fishing season at Belfair State Park on Hood Canal in Mason County will reopen at the first of the new year. Alex Bradbury with the Department tells us surveys indicate that the clam population will support a year round fishery The recreational oyster season remains open in the designated portion of the park as well.  For further information, contact Alex Bradbury, WDFW Point Whitney Shellfish Laboratory, at (360) 586-1498, extension 208.

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  • Hoquiam Farmers Market News

    You have survived the Holidays!  Congratulations!  Perhaps this is why we celebrate New Year’s with such unbridled enthusiasm, huh?  It isn’t really such a big deal that the calendar is changing over, it’s that you don’t have one more gift to buy or one more relative to attempt to please!
    King of all Sausage Makers, our own Anthony, has been working almost around the clock all month to keep up with the demand for his incredible Kielbasa, Italian, Summer Sausage, Pepperoni, and the rightfully world famous Razor Clam Sausage.  The word ‘slavedriver’ keeps cropping up in my conversations with him.  I just smile, flick my ladylike whip nonchalantly, and agree.  Poor man.  
    So, it’s because of my propensity for pushing poor peons to the limit that we have (drum roll please) Cranberry Sausage and Craisin Pepperoni!!!
    Oh yeah, this is gonna make the New Year’s Eve hors d’oeuvres platter complete! 
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  • Evening razor clam dig approved for New Year’s holiday

    Clam diggers today got the go-ahead to proceed with a four-day razor-clam dig on Washington’s coastal beaches over the New Year’s holiday.

    The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) gave final approval for the evening digs after a series of marine toxin tests confirmed the clams on all five coastal beaches were safe to eat.

    Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks and Kalaloch beaches will be open for clam digging Thursday, Dec. 31 and Friday, Jan. 1.

    All of those beaches, with the exception of Kalaloch, also will be open Saturday, Jan. 2. One beach – Twin Harbors – will open for a fourth evening of digging Sunday, Jan. 3. 

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  • Razor Clam Season Tentatively Set to Open at 5 Beaches in Mid-October

    Grays Harbor County, WA – The first razor-clam dig of the fall season will get under way Oct. 16 if marine toxin tests show the clams are safe to eat, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) announced today. Additional digging opportunities are scheduled through Jan. 3

    Evening digs are tentatively planned at Twin Harbors (Oct. 16-19); Long Beach and Copalis (Oct. 16, 17 and 18); and Mocrocks and Kalaloch Beach (Oct. 17 and18). Digging at all beaches will be restricted to the hours between noon and midnight. 

    "The results of our 2009 summer stock assessment show that Long Beach, Twin Harbors and Kalaloch Beach have had an increase in their total allowable catch, while Copalis and Mocrocks are about the same," said Dan Ayres, WDFW coastal shellfish manager. "This is great news for Kalaloch, which will have harvest opportunities for the first time since spring 2007."

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