WDFW approves 9 days of razor clam digs beginning April 29; daily limit is 20 clams
OLYMPIA – Shellfish managers with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) confirmed Friday that the final round of razor clam digging can proceed as planned from April 29-May 7 to wrap up a memorable season.
“As we enter the homestretch of the 2021-2022 recreational razor clam season, it’s quite clear that this will go down as one of the best on record,” said Dan Ayres, the WDFW coastal shellfish manager. “Looking to the future, the cooler, productive ocean conditions we are experiencing now may be a good indicator for another great season starting this fall.”
A total of 432,380 diggers from Sept. 17 to April 21 (111 digging days) have taken home more than 7.1-million razor clams. During digs on April 16-21 the average was 19.1 clams per person at Long Beach; 19.3 at Twin Harbors; 19.2 at Copalis; and 18.7 at Mocrocks. Razor clams have been quite large averaging 4.3” at Long Beach; 4.7” at Twin Harbors; 4.8” at Copalis; and 4.5” at Mocrocks.
On all open beaches – Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks, and Copalis – the daily limit from April 29 through May 7 is 20 clams instead of the usual 15. Each digger’s clams must be kept in a separate container, and all diggers must keep the first 20 clams they dig, regardless of size or condition. Diggers are reminded that a possession limit of shellfish is one daily limit in fresh form, and all other shellfish must be frozen or processed. Razor clams that are simply cleaned are not considered processed. For more information, please visit https://www.eregulations.com/washington/fishing/.
Digging is allowed during low tide from 12 a.m. through 11:59 a.m. only (except extended to 1 PM on May 7 only):
- April 29, Friday, 6:31 AM; -0.1 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
- April 30, Saturday, 7:10 AM; -0.5 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
- May 1, Sunday, 7:47 AM; -0.8 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
- May 2, Monday, 8:22 AM; -0.8 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
- May 3, Tuesday, 8:57 AM; -0.7 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
- May 4, Wednesday, 9:34 AM; -0.4 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
- May 5, Thursday, 10:13 AM; -0.1 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
- May 6, Friday, 10:57 AM; +0.2 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
- May 7, Saturday, 11:48 AM; +0.5 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis (digging hours extended to 1 PM)
Not all beaches are open for every dig, so diggers are encouraged to make sure their intended destination is open before heading out. The most successful digging occurs between one and two hours before the listed time of low tide.
As in past years, WDFW is asking beachgoers to avoid disturbing nesting snowy plovers – an endangered shorebird – by staying out of the dunes and posted areas along the southwest Washington coast. Snowy plover nests are nearly invisible, and it is vital to give these birds the space they need to live and thrive during their nesting period, especially along the southern end on Twin Harbors – known as Midway Beach – and the north end of Long Beach. People should avoid leaving leftover food or trash – which attracts predators – on the beach and picnic areas, keep pets on a leash, stay out of dunes, and avoid areas which are clearly marked with posted signs. When driving on the beach, please respect the 25 MPH speed limit and enter only at designated access points. Be sure to stay on the hard-packed sand near the high tide line to avoid crushing clam beds and snowy plover nests. For details on the snowy plover, go to https://wdfw.wa.gov/species-habitats/species/charadrius-nivosus.
Razor clam diggers must have a new 2022-2023 recreational fishing or shellfishing licenses to participate. All diggers age 15 or older must have an applicable fishing license to harvest razor clams on any beach. Details can be found at https://wdfw.wa.gov/licenses.
For helpful tips on how to clean and cook razor clams, go to the WDFW YouTube link at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sTaRaHkFFEw. For additional tips and razor clam recipes, go to https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/basics/digging-razor-clams.
WDFW and tribal co-managers will begin assessments this summer to determine razor clam abundance. WDFW will also have a public comment period around the end of August. To learn more about razor clam abundance, population densities at various beaches, and how seasons are set, visit https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfishing-regulations/razor-clams#management.
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife works to preserve, protect, and perpetuate fish, wildlife and ecosystems while providing sustainable fish and wildlife recreational and commercial opportunities.
WDFW has information on public areas designated for shellfish harvesting. One of those areas is the Nahcotta Tidelands known for harvesting oysters. Here are links for more information on what is open and what licenses is needed.
Clamming is a great family activity but caution is always advised when you are on the beach. Watch out for sneaker waves, stay away from logs in or at the water’s edge, keep your eye on the tide and drench all beach fires dead out before leaving. The dunes are off-limits to foot and vehicle traffic. All beach approaches have public restrooms and please pack your trash out with you. Approximately 6 miles of beach on the north end of the peninsula may be closed to traffic at various times during the year – please follow all posted directions regarding these closures.
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.
Call the Biotoxin Hotline at 1-800-562-5632 before harvesting shellfish anywhere in Washington State.
The first fifteen razor clams regardless of size or condition must be retained. One daily limit of fresh shellfish may be in possession. 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.
Razor clams may be taken by hand, hand-operated shovel, or tube (clam gun) 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.
For more detailed information visit https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfishing-regulations
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.
There are 7 beach approaches for vehicles along the peninsula. Starting from the north end, they are:
- Oysterville Road
- Bay Avenue
- Klipsan Beach (south of 227th)
- Cranberry Road
- Bolstad Road
- Sid Snyder Road
- Seaview (at 38th Street)
Places to Buy Razor Clam Licenses
PLEASE PURCHASE clamming license online if possible. Go to the website and follow the steps. Here are some notes from doing it this morning to the point of purchase.
YOU CAN PURCHASE ONLINE. You must create an account (they will ask for SS# and the date of your WA residency). If you’ve purchased a license in the last 5 years use the Look Up Account option. Once in Click the Purchase Fishing button, options will appear. Choices are: Annual Razor Clam good April 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021 – Temporary 1, 2 or 3 day Combo Fishing (which includes razor clams) – Temporary 3 day Razor Clam. Your starting point is here https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov/#/login . Please purchase your license in advance to lessen the long line situations at license dealers on the peninsula.
JACKS COUNTRY STORE
26006 Highway 103
Ocean Park, WA 98640
DENNIS COMPANY #1
2nd and Pacific ST
Long Beach, WA 98631
SEAVIEW SHELL STATION
3909 Pacific Highway, Seaview, WA
2006 N Pacific Hwy 103
Long Beach, WA 98631
CHINOOK COUNTRY STORE
775 HWY 101
Chinook, WA 98614
ILWACO FOOD MARKET
108 SPRUCE ST. W
Ilwaco, WA 98624
For a complete list places selling clamming licenses in Pacific County
License Types & Fees
There are many options for purchasing a clam license.
Visit https://wdfw.wa.gov/licenses/fishing/types-fees for full information. Children under the age of 15 do not need a razor clam license.