Clamming Information (Shellfish Safety information from the WA Dept of Health)

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Razor Clams  

NEWS RELEASE  Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

February 16, 2017   Contact: Dan Ayres, (360) 249-4628

Razor clam dig begins Feb. 23, more proposed through April

OLYMPIA – Razor clam diggers can count on evening digs starting Feb. 23 and begin planning trips this spring to Washington’s beaches after state shellfish managers today announced a schedule of proposed digs through April.  The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) approved the opening at three ocean beaches later this month after marine toxin tests confirmed the clams on those beaches are safe to eat.

The upcoming dig is approved on the following beaches, dates and evening low tides:

  • Feb. 23, Thursday, 4:42 p.m.; 0.3 feet; Twin Harbors
  • Feb. 24, Friday, 5:21 p.m.; -0.1 feet; Copalis, Mocrocks, Twin Harbors
  • Feb. 25, Saturday, 5:58 p.m.; -0.3 feet; Copalis, Mocrocks, Twin Harbors
  • Feb. 26, Sunday, 6:34 p.m.; -0.4 feet; Copalis, Mocrocks, Twin Harbors
  • Feb. 27, Monday, 7:11 p.m.; 0.3 feet; Twin Harbors
  • Feb. 28, Tuesday, 7:48 p.m.; 0.0 feet; Twin Harbors

WDFW also announced a list of proposed digs in March and April, subject to the results of additional marine toxin tests. Shellfish managers will announce a final decision on those openings about a week before each dig is set to begin. Dan Ayres, coastal shellfish manager for WDFW, noted that the current schedule does not include proposed digs this spring for Twin Harbors or Long Beach.  We’re waiting to see how the next few rounds of marine toxin tests go before we set a schedule for those beaches,” Ayres said. Toxin levels on Washington’s southern beaches – Twin Harbors and Long Beach – have been declining. Twin Harbors opened earlier this month when levels of domoic acid met public health standards.  A natural toxin produced by certain types of algae, domoic acid can be harmful or even fatal if consumed in sufficient quantities.

If toxin levels at Long Beach continue to drop, the beach could open in March for digging, Ayres said.

The Peninsula is among five state-designated razor-clam digging beaches on the Washington coast, along with Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks  and Kalaloch.

The peninsula, stretches 24 miles, from Beards Hollow near North Head Lighthouse to Leadbetter Point State Park.

Thousands maybe even tens of  thousands will dig for clams along the beach when tides get low in the spring.

Rules and Regulations

Before harvesting, check the beach to determine if a  beach is open or if there are any health restrictions. You can check if there are any marine toxin level restrictions by calling the Marine Biotoxin Hotline maintained by the Washington Department of Health at 1-800-562-5632

License Requirements
A Shellfish/Seaweed License  is required for harvesting razor clams and must be in the harvester's  immediate possession and available for inspection during harvest and  transport. Everyone claiming a limit must actively participate in the harvesting process, unless they possess a disability permit.

Bag Limit
The first fifteen razor clams regardless of size or condition must be retained. One daily limit of fresh shellfish may be in possession. Additional shellfish may be possessed in a frozen or processed form. Razor clams may not be returned to the beach. For razor clams, holes do not have to be refilled as is required for hardshell clam digging.

Allowable Harvesting Gear
Razor clams may be taken by hand, hand-operated shovel, or tube with a minimum outside diameter of 4" or (4" x 3" if elliptical). Each digger must use a separate container, but may share digging equipment.

Beach Use
It is illegal to drive any vehicle, or  lead or ride a horse on the clam beds. You must stay on the upper "hard-sand area". Pressure from the weight of the vehicles or digging action of horses' hooves cause clam mortality.

For more information see: http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/razorclams/rules_regs.html

Click here for Vendors that sell Clamming licenses on the Peninsula

Map of Razor Clam Beaches

Beaches in Washington with razor clam fisheries include:

Long Beach, which extends from the Columbia River to Leadbetter Point.

Twin Harbors Beach, which extends from the mouth of Willapa Bay north to the south jetty at the mouth of Grays Harbor.

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.

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.

Kalaloch Beach, which extends from the South Beach Campground to Browns Point (just south of Beach Trail 3) in the Olympic National Park.

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