State shellfish managers have added Twin Harbors beach to the next tentatively scheduled razor clam opening, beginning March 24, and canceled four days of digging at Kalaloch beach due to a low abundance of clams.
Final approval of scheduled openings will depend on whether results of marine toxin tests show the clams are safe to eat. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will announce early next week whether the March 24 dig can proceed, said Dan Ayres, coastal shellfish manager for the department.
Toxin levels at Twin Harbors had spiked in December and early-January, which meant the beach was closed to razor clam digging, Ayres said. However, toxin levels have declined over the past two months and consistently are meeting public health standards.
“If this next round of testing at Twin Harbors comes back good, we’ll announce tentative dates through April at the beach,” Ayres said.
The proposed razor clam digs, along with evening low tides and beaches, are listed below:
- March 24, Friday, 5:01 p.m.; 0.5 feet; Mocrocks, Twin Harbors
- March 25, Saturday, 5:44 p.m.; 0.2 feet; Copalis, Twin Harbors
- March 26, Sunday, 6:24 p.m.; 0.0 feet; Mocrocks, Twin Harbors
- March 27, Monday, 7:04 p.m.; 0.0 feet; Twin Harbors
Although WDFW is adding days at Twin Harbors, the department is canceling the remaining four day of digging this season at Kalaloch beach. A recent population survey at the beach indicated far fewer clams than pre-season estimates, Ayres said.
“We’re a little mystified about what has happened at Kalaloch over the last few months,” Ayres said. “We need to close the beach to digging this spring to protect the small population there.”
WDFW will continue to monitor the razor clam population at Kalaloch, as well as at other ocean beaches.
Under state law, diggers at open beaches 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.
All diggers age 15 or older must have an applicable 2016-17 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.