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people clamming

Clamming

NEWS RELEASE Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

Date: Nov 18, 2020

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

December 1-4 razor clam digs cancelled due to marine toxins

OLYMPIA–Washington’s ocean beaches will remain closed to razor clam harvest until at least December 12 after test results on razor clams dug at Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks and Copalis indicate levels of domoic acid that exceed the threshold set by state public health officials for safe consumption.

“While levels remain too high for safe consumption on Washington’s ocean beaches, those levels have declined since the last test, and we hope to see that trend continue to the point where we can open,” said Dan Ayres, coastal shellfish manager with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

Domoic acid, a natural toxin produced by certain types of marine algae, can be harmful or fatal if consumed in sufficient quantities. More information about domoic acid, as well as current levels at ocean beaches, can be found on WDFW’s domoic acid webpage. Safe consumption thresholds for domoic acid are set by the Washington Department of Health (DOH).

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. Persons with disabilities who need to receive this information in an alternative format or who need reasonable accommodations to participate in WDFW-sponsored public meetings or other activities may contact Dolores Noyes by phone (360-902-2349), TTY (360-902-2207), or email (Title6@dfw.wa.gov). For more information, see https://wdfw.wa.gov/accessibility/requests-accommodation

Domoic acid, a natural toxin produced by certain types of marine algae, can be harmful or fatal if consumed in sufficient quantities. More information about domoic acid, as well as current levels at ocean beaches, can be found on WDFW’s domoic acid webpage.

WDFW managers will await additional test results from DOH prior to announcing additional digging opportunities. 

Persons with disabilities who need to receive this information in an alternative format or who need reasonable accommodations to participate in WDFW-sponsored public meetings or other activities may contact Dolores Noyes by phone (360-902-2349), TTY (360-902-2207), or email (Title6@dfw.wa.gov). For more information, see https://wdfw.wa.gov/accessibility/requests-accommodation.

The TENTATIVE razor clam digs through December, along with low tides and beaches, are listed below:
P.M. TIDES:

  • Dec. 12, Saturday, 4:44 pm, -0.8; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Dec. 13, Sunday, 5:32 pm, -1.4; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • Dec. 14, Monday, 6:19 pm, -1.7; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Dec. 15, Tuesday, 7:05pm, -1.7; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • Dec. 16, Wednesday, 7:50 pm, -1.5; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Dec. 17, Thursday, 8:35 pm, -1.0; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • Dec. 18, Friday, 9:21 pm, -0.4; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Dec. 28, Monday, 5:43 pm, -0.2; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • Dec. 29, Tuesday, 6:20 pm, -0.5; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Dec. 30, Wednesday, 6:57 pm, -0.7; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • Dec. 31, Thursday, 7:34 pm, -0.7; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks

No digging is allowed before noon during digs when low tide occurs in the afternoon or evening.

Public health officials will be closely monitoring new COVID-19 infection rates throughout the digging season and adjustments to the schedule may be made to reduce public health risk in-season.

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 at https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov and from some 600 license vendors around the state. WDFW recommends buying your license before visiting coastal beach communities for this razor clam season.

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 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.

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.