OLYMPIA – Razor clam diggers can return to ocean beaches for a two-day opening, Mar. 16-17, which coincides with the Ocean Shores Razor Clam and Seafood Festival in Ocean Shores, Washington (https://www.osrazorclamfestival.org).
State shellfish managers with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) approved the dig on evening low tides after marine toxin tests showed the clams are safe to eat. No digging will be allowed on any beach before noon.
The upcoming dig is approved on the following beaches, dates, and evening low tides:
- March 16, Saturday, 3:43 p.m.; 0.3 feet; Twin Harbors Beach, and 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. (see Map)
- March 17, Sunday, 4:43 p.m.; -0.2 feet; Twin Harbors Beach, and 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, Seabrook, Pacific Beach and Moclips. (see Map)
“This is a weekend opening that should not be missed,” said Dan Ayres, WDFW coastal shellfish manager. “The event features live music, clamming tutorials, clam chowder contests, clam-themed art and cooking demos, and of course, some of the best food you can get with a clam gun or shovel.”
For more clamming tips, festival goers can visit Ayres and his shellfish team at their information booth at the event. Ayres will be giving presentations on how to dig razor clams and how WDFW manages the season.
Ayres recommends that diggers hit the beach about an hour or two before low tide for the best results.
In order to ensure conservation of clams for future generations, WDFW sets tentative razor clam seasons that are based on the results from the annual coast-wide razor clam stock assessment and by considering harvest to date. WDFW authorizes each dig independently after getting the results of marine toxin testing.
The Department sets these dates when possible to coincide with the local razor clam festival, knowing the importance it has for the local economy.
All diggers age 15 or older must have an applicable 2018-19 fishing license to harvest razor clams on any beach. Licenses, ranging from a three-day razor clam license (starting at $9.70) to an annual combination fishing license, are available on WDFW's website athttps://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov and from license vendors around the state.
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.
More information can be found on WDFW's razor clam webpage at https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/razorclams/.
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlifeis the primary state agency tasked with preserving, protecting and perpetuating fish and wildlife and ecosystems, while providing sustainable fishing and hunting opportunities. WDFW razor clam digs support outdoor lifestyles and coastal economies.