RECREATIONAL RAZOR CLAM UPDATE: No future razor clam dates will be announced until domoic acid levels in razor clams drop below the action level. We will continue to test every two weeks. To see previous results see the web link below.
MARINE TOXIN UPDATE:
Recall, before a beach can be opened for the harvest of razor clams, WDOH protocol requires that all razor clam samples collected from that beach must test under the action level (20 ppm for domoic acid; 80 µg/100g for PSP; and 16 µg/100g for DSP) on both of two required sample collections, that must be spaced 7 to 10 days apart.
As we reported in December, razor clams are following the historical pattern of slowly depurating (losing) domoic acid. We also are observing the levels “bounce around” some, as they have in past events. This is a result the individual 12 clams we harvest when we are collecting samples. The toxin “load” can vary greatly between individual clams. The laboratory protocol requires the clams to be cleaned and then the meat from all 12 (per area) are blended together. Then a sample of that mixture is analyzed and one result is reported for that area. If you are interested, you can check out the historical domoic acid data at the link below.
These results and the historical record of domoic acid events can be found at: https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/basics/domoic-acid/levels (click on “show historical data”) and then hover your curser over the data points for more detail).
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 Wildlife is 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.
The Peninsula is among five state-designated razor-clam digging beaches on the Washington coast, along with Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks and Kalaloch.
Stretching 24 miles, from Beards Hollow north of North Head Lighthouse to Leadbetter Point State Park, the drivable beach areas are actually WA State Highways with a speed limit of 25 MPH. Drivers are cautioned to stay out of the dunes, off the clam beds and to keep a sharp lookout for pedestrians, pets, wildlife and driftwood. During clam tides (the designated time periods clam digging is allowed), thousands will be on the beach, especially during the low spring tides.
WA Dept of Fish & Wildlife has an informational “How To” video on YouTube – Digging Razor Clams in Washington
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.