APPROVED: CLAMMING DIG

15 Apr 2019 2:47 PM | Anonymous

NEWS RELEASE   Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

WDFW announces razor clam dates ahead of Long Beach Razor Clam Festival; Asks beachgoers to avoid snowy plovers

OLYMPIA – Razor clam diggers can return to various ocean beaches for a three-day opening beginning Saturday, April 20 and extending through Earth Day, April 22. State shellfish managers with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) approved the dig on morning low tides after marine toxin tests showed the clams are safe to eat.

The upcoming dig is approve:

April 20, Saturday, 7:58 a.m.; -1.1 feet; Long Beach

April 21, Sunday, 8:42 a.m.; -1.2 feet; Long Beach

“This is a weekend opening that should not be missed,” said Dan Ayres, WDFW coastal shellfish manager. “The Long Beach Razor Clam festival on Saturday (http://longbeachrazorclamfestival.com), features clam digging and chowder contests, clam digging lessons, and live music – even pirates and mermaids making an occasional appearance.”

As in past years, WDFW is asking beachgoers to take care to avoid nesting snowy plovers. 

“With barely 100 of these birds still surviving on the Southwest Washington Coast, it is vitally important for beachgoers to stay out of posted areas,” said Ayres. “Snowy plover nests are nearly invisible, so we want people to give these birds the space they need to live and thrive during their nesting period, especially near Midway Beach and while walking towards the north end of Long Beach.”

Ayres recommends people avoid leaving leftover food or trash on the beach--which attracts predators--avoid the dunes as much as possible, and heed the 25-mile per hour speed limit if driving on the beach.   Diggers should hit the beach about an hour or two before low tide for the best results.     All diggers age 15 or older must have an applicable 2019-20 fishing license to harvest razor clams on any beach; 2018-19 licenses are no longer valid for this dig. 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 at https://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.   Ayres noted that based on the remaining number of clams to harvest, this is very likely the last razor clam dig of the season at Long Beach and Copalis beaches.  

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