OLYMPIA – Razor clam diggers can look forward to a five-day opening beginning Jan. 27 at Copalis beach, overlapping with three days of digging at Mocrocks.
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) approved the opening on evening tides at those two beaches after marine toxin tests confirmed the clams on the beaches are safe to eat.
Diggers should be aware that only Copalis beach is open the first two days of the dig, said Dan Ayres, coastal shellfish manager for WDFW.
The upcoming dig is approved on the following beaches, dates and evening low tides:
Jan. 27, Friday, 6:26 p.m.; -0.5 feet; Copalis
Jan. 28, Saturday, 7:01 p.m.; -0.6 feet; Copalis
Jan. 29, Sunday, 7:37 p.m.; -0.5 feet; Copalis, Mocrocks
Jan. 30, Monday, 8:13 p.m.; -0.3 feet; Copalis, Mocrocks
Jan. 31, Tuesday, 8:50 p.m.; 0.2 feet; Copalis, Mocrocks
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.
Both Long Beach and Twin Harbors remain closed to razor clam digging due to elevated levels of domoic acid. However, Ayres noted that domoic acid levels continue to drop at both beaches.
“We remain hopeful that we will be able to open both beaches sometime this spring,” Ayres said.
A natural toxin produced by certain types of algae, domoic acid can be harmful or even fatal if consumed in sufficient quantities. WDFW will continue to monitor toxin levels at all ocean beaches.
A list of razor clam digs tentatively scheduled through February can be found on WDFW’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/razorclams/current.html.