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people clamming

Clamming


NEWS RELEASE

September 16, 2022
Contact: Dan Ayres, 360-249-4628 ext. 209
Media contact: Mark Yuasa, 360-902-2262

Razor clam digs on coastal beaches postponed until further notice due to spike in marine toxins

OLYMPIA – The recreational razor clam season – originally scheduled to begin Sept. 22-26 on coastal beaches – is postponed until further notice.

Test results on razor clams indicate domoic acid levels are trending upward or, on most beaches, have exceeded the health guidelines set by the Washington Department of Health (DOH) officials for safe consumption.

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.

“Because concentrations of domoic acid in razor clam samples have increased rapidly, we are acting out of an abundance of caution and putting a pause on opening all beaches,” said Dan Ayres, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) coastal shellfish manager. “We will work closely with DOH and hopefully be able to open beaches sometime down the road.”

WDFW shellfish staff will continue to regularly dig test samples of razor clams to monitor the situation. WDFW will announce future digging opportunities when marine toxin tests show it is safe to do so.

WDFW originally scheduled 56 days of tentative digs after summer assessments showed a strong razor clam population. The 2021-2022 season generated a record turnout of diggers and high number of razor clams harvested.

Tentative Dates

P.M. TIDES ONLY:

  • Sept. 27, Tuesday, 8:24 p.m.; minus-0.1 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Sept. 28, Wednesday, 9:06 p.m.; -0.3 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • Sept. 29, Thursday, 9:51 p.m.; -0.4 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Sept. 30, Friday, 10:43 p.m.; -0.2 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
     
  • Oct. 8, Saturday, 6:21 p.m.; 0.5 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Oct. 9, Sunday, 7:05 p.m.; -0.1 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • Oct. 10, Monday, 7:46 p.m.; -0.5 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Oct. 11, Tuesday, 8:26 p.m.; -0.6 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • Oct. 12, Wednesday, 9:06 p.m.; -0.4 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Oct. 13, Thursday, 9:46 p.m.; -0.2 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • Oct. 14, Friday, 10:29 p.m.; 0.3 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
     
  • Oct. 24, Monday, 6:44 p.m.; 0.0 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • Oct. 25, Tuesday, 7:24 p.m.; -0.6 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Oct. 26, Wednesday, 8:05 p.m.; -1.0 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • Oct. 27, Thursday, 8:48 p.m.; -1.1 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Oct. 28, Friday, 9:35 p.m.; -1.0 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • Oct. 29, Saturday, 10:28 p.m.; -0.7 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Oct. 30, Sunday, 11:27 p.m.; -0.3 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
     
  • Nov. 6, Sunday, 5:08 p.m.; 0.0 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Nov. 7, Monday, 5:49 p.m.; -0.5 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • Nov. 8, Tuesday, 6:28 p.m.; -0.7 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Nov. 9, Wednesday, 7:05 p.m.; -0.7 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • Nov. 10, Thursday, 7:42 p.m.; -0.6 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Nov. 11, Friday, 8:19 p.m.; -0.2 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis (Veterans Day)
  • Nov. 12, Saturday, 8:59 p.m.; 0.1 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Nov. 13, Sunday, 9:43 p.m.; 0.5 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
     
  • Nov. 22, Tuesday, 5:22 p.m.; -0.6 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • Nov. 23, Wednesday, 6:04 p.m.; -1.2 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Nov. 24, Thursday, 6:48 p.m.; -1.6 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis (Thanksgiving Day)
  • Nov. 25, Friday, 7:35 p.m.; -1.6 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Nov. 26, Saturday, 8:23 p.m.; -1.5 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • Nov. 27, Sunday, 9:15 p.m.; -1.1 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Nov. 28, Monday, 10:10 p.m.; -0.5 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
     
  • Dec. 4, Sunday, 4:09 p.m.; 0.4 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • Dec. 5, Monday, 4:53 p.m.; -0.1 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Dec. 6, Tuesday, 5:33 p.m.; -0.5 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • Dec. 7, Wednesday, 6:11 p.m.; -0.6 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Dec. 8, Thursday, 6:47 p.m.; -0.6 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • Dec. 9, Friday, 7:23 p.m.; -0.5 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Dec. 10, Saturday, 7:59 p.m.; -0.3 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • Dec. 11, Sunday, 8:35 p.m.; 0.0 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Dec. 12, Monday, 9:13 p.m.; 0.3 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
     
  • Dec. 20, Tuesday, 4:14 p.m.; 0.0 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Dec. 21, Wednesday, 5:02 p.m.; -0.8 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • Dec. 22, Thursday, 5:48 p.m.; -1.4 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Dec. 23, Friday, 6:35 p.m.; -1.8 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • Dec. 24, Saturday, 7:23 p.m.; -1.9 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Dec. 25, Sunday, 8:10 p.m.; -1.6 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis (Christmas Day)
  • Dec. 26, Monday, 8:58 p.m.; -1.2 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Dec. 27, Tuesday, 9:47 p.m.; -0.5 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • Dec. 28, Wednesday, 10:37 p.m.; 0.3 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks

Additional information

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

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

Licenses range from a three-day razor clam license to an annual combination fishing license. Licenses can be purchased from WDFW’s licensing website at https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov/login, and from hundreds of license vendors around the state. WDFW recommends buying your license before visiting coastal beach communities.

The updated 2022-23 Razor Clam Management Plan can be found at https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfishing-regulations/razor-clams#management.  Public comments on the plan will be accepted no later than Oct. 15 and may be emailed to: razorclams@dfw.wa.gov

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.


Nahcotta Tidelands located at 26608 Sandridge Rd, Ocean Park, WA 98647

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.

Click here for licensing

Click here for Nahcotta Tidelands season information


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.