Clam diggers today got a green light to proceed with a two-day razor clam dig starting May 2 at three ocean beaches.
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) approved the digs after marine toxin tests showed the clams on those beaches are safe to eat. All of the digs are scheduled on morning tides. No digging will be allowed on any beach after noon.
The upcoming dig is scheduled on the following dates, beaches, and low tides:
· May 2, Saturday; 6:23 a.m., 0.2 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
· May 3, Sunday; 6:59 a.m., -0.3 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
WDFW has also proposed additional digs in May, pending the results of future marine toxin tests. Tentative dates for those digs are posted on the department’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/razorclams/current.html.
All diggers age 15 or older must have an applicable 2015-16 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.
During all upcoming digs, state wildlife managers urge clam diggers to avoid disturbing snowy plovers and streaked horned larks. Both species nest in the soft, dry sand at Leadbetter Point on the Long Beach Peninsula, and on a section of Twin Harbors beach.
The snowy plover is a small bird with gray wings and a white breast. The lark is a small bird with a pale yellow breast and brown back. Male larks have a black mask, breast band and “horns.”
To protect these birds, the department asks that clam diggers avoid the dunes and areas of the beach with soft, dry sand. When driving to a clam-digging area, diggers should enter the beach only at designated access points and stay on the hard-packed sand near or below the high tide line.
More details on how to avoid disturbing nesting birds can be found on the WDFW’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/razorclams/.