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people clamming

Clamming

Current razor clam season information

NEWS RELEASE
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
Date: May 21, 2021

Contacts: Dan Ayres, 360-470-3557; Jason Wettstein (360) 704-0258 

More Mocrocks: WDFW approves four more razor clam digging days at Mocrocks Beach

Many ocean beaches are open to motor vehicles, but drivers are required to follow the “rules of the road,” said Ayres. “Mocrocks beach only has three points of road access, so we are asking beachgoers to arrive early and exercise good judgment when accessing the beach,” he added. 

“Under state law, all vehicles – and horses – are required to travel along the extreme upper limit of the hard sand,” he said. “When in doubt, follow the path marked by multiple tire tracks.” Drivers who veer from that path pose a direct threat to fish and wildlife, Ayres said. Motorists who violate Washington state laws on beach driving can face a fine of $150, or much more for killing endangered seabirds, like snowy plovers. 

“We manage recreational clam digging in Washington in a manner that we believe minimizes potential impacts to vulnerable ground nesting listed bird species,” said Ayres. “We do this by not scheduling digging after May 15at key breeding areas for snowy plovers and streaked horned larks, including Long Beach and Twin Harbors.”

The May 15 date has been identified as the peak breeding season for these birds, which are listed as threatened under federal law and as endangered in Washington.  In addition to the mid-May deadline, WDFW provides sanitation facilities, outreach and education to beach visitors to minimize impacts. 

The agency continues to emphasize ‘digging while distancing’ and masking up when near others to support efforts by community health experts to ensure a fun and safe razor clam season.  Razor clam diggers can find detailed beach maps that indicate locations and local names for beaches on WDFW’s razor clam webpages.  

All diggers age 15 or older must have an applicable fishing license to harvest razor clams on any beach. 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 and from some 600 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. 

More information can be found on WDFW’s razor clam webpage 
 
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife works to preserve, protect and perpetuate fish, wildlife and ecosystems while providing sustainable fish, wildlife, and recreational and commercial opportunities. Individuals who need to receive this information in an alternative format, language, or who need reasonable accommodations to participate in WDFW-sponsored public meetings or other activities may contact the Title VI/ADA Compliance Coordinator by phone at 360-902-2349, TTY (711), or email (Title6@dfw.wa.gov). For more information, see https://wdfw.wa.gov/accessibility/requests-accommodation

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.

Clamming Checklist

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

man clamming

Vehicle Information

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
(360) 665-4988

DENNIS COMPANY #1
2nd and Pacific ST
Long Beach, WA 98631
(360) 642-3166

SEAVIEW SHELL STATION
3909 Pacific Highway, Seaview, WA
(360) 642-4023 

PIONEER MARKET
2006 N Pacific Hwy 103
Long Beach, WA 98631
(360) 642-4004

CHINOOK COUNTRY STORE
775 HWY 101
Chinook, WA 98614
(360) 870-7310

ILWACO FOOD MARKET
108 SPRUCE ST. W
Ilwaco, WA 98624
(360) 642-2413

For a complete list places selling clamming licenses in Pacific County 
Visit https://wdfw.wa.gov/licenses/dealers?name=&city=&county=65

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.