State shellfish managers have tentatively scheduled evening razor clam digs through February on three ocean beaches.
Final approval of all scheduled openings at Copalis, Mocrocks and Kalaloch beaches will depend on whether results of marine toxin tests show the clams are safe to eat. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) typically announces whether a dig will go forward about a week before the opening, said Dan Ayres, coastal shellfish manager for the department.
“We know people are anxious to make plans to go razor clamming in 2017,” Ayres said. “We’ve planned openings for 19 days in January and February, but we can’t give final approval until tests show we can open those beaches to digging.”
WDFW will announce next week whether a previously announced two-day opening at Copalis and Mocrocks can proceed. The proposed dig is scheduled for Dec. 30 and 31 at both beaches. More information can be found on the department’s webpage at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/razorclams/current.html
Both Twin Harbors and Long Beach remain closed to razor clam digging.
For the first time since 2012, Kalaloch Beach is tentatively scheduled to open – on Jan. 8 and 9 – for digging. Located inside Olympic National Park, the beach hasn’t been open the last few years for razor clam digging due a low abundance of clams. WDFW and park officials say the population is robust enough for digs in 2017. Additional digs at Kalaloch will be announced in the coming months.
The proposed razor clam digs, along with evening low tides and beaches, are listed below:
- Jan. 8, Sunday, 3:11 p.m.; 0.4 feet; Kalaloch
- Jan. 9, Monday, 4:08 p.m.; -0.4 feet; Kalaloch
- Jan. 13, Friday, 7:17 p.m.; -1.4 feet; Copalis, Mocrocks
- Jan. 14, Saturday, 7:59 p.m.; -1.0 feet; Copalis, Mocrocks
- Jan. 15, Sunday, 8:40 p.m.; -0.4 feet; Copalis, Mocrocks
- 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
- Feb. 7, Tuesday, 3:53 p.m.; -0.1 feet; Copalis, Mocrocks
- Feb. 8, Wednesday, 4:46 p.m.; -0.6 feet; Copalis, Mocrocks
- Feb. 9, Thursday, 5:33 p.m.; -0.9 feet; Copalis, Mocrocks
- Feb. 10, Friday, 6:16 p.m.; -1.0 feet; Mocrocks
- Feb. 11, Saturday, 6:57 p.m.; -0.8 feet; Mocrocks
- Feb. 12, Sunday, 7:34 p.m.; -0.5 feet; Mocrocks
- Feb. 24, Friday, 5:21 p.m.; -0.1 feet; Copalis, Mocrocks
- Feb. 25, Saturday, 5:58 p.m.; -0.3 feet; Copalis, Mocrocks
- Feb. 26, Sunday, 6:34 p.m.; -0.4 feet; Copalis, Mocrocks
Elevated levels of domoic acid, a natural toxin produced by certain types of algae, have disrupted razor clam digs on Washington’s ocean beaches over the past 18 months. Razor clams at both Twin Harbors and Long Beach exceed public health standards for marine toxins. For that reason, neither beach will open for the remainder of 2016, Ayres said.
“We’re continuing to monitor domoic acid levels at all our ocean beaches,” Ayres said. “As soon as testing indicates the clams at Long Beach or Twin Harbors are safe to eat, we’ll announce digs there.”
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.
More information about razor clams can be found on WDFW’s webpage at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/razorclams/.