Submitted by Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife
Shellfish managers have approved four days of razor clam digging starting May 7 at various ocean beaches.
The Washington Department of Fish & 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 after noon on any beach through Saturday. However, WDFW is extending the dig on Sunday, May 10, to 1:00 p.m.
“We’re giving diggers an extra hour to wrap things up on Sunday due to the late low tide that day,” said Dan Ayres, WDFW coastal shellfish manager.
The upcoming dig is scheduled on the following dates, beaches, and low tides:
- May 7, Thursday; 9:30 a.m., -0.8 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors
- May 8, Friday; 10:14 a.m., -0.7 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
- May 9, Saturday; 11:03 a.m., -0.4 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
- May 10, Sunday; 11:58 a.m., -0.1 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
The department has also proposed two additional digs in May, pending the results of marine toxin tests. Additional information about those tentative digs can be found on WDFW’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/razorclams/.
Under state law, diggers are required to keep the first 15 clams they dig. Each digger’s clams must be kept in a separate container.
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/.