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seagull with razor clam

Razor Clam Digs

Health Officer Orders Cancellation of Clam Digging in Pacific County Until Further Notice

{South Bend, WA March 19, 2020}

On Thursday, March 19, 2020, the Pacific County Deputy Health Officer (“Deputy Health Officer”), Dr. Steven Krager, ordered that all clam digs in Pacific County, Washington be cancelled until further notice in order to mitigate the spread of COVID- 19. The prohibition on clam digging in Pacific County is in effect as of 12:01 AM on March 20, 2020 per the Health Officer’s Order, and remains in effect until further notice.

The Deputy Health Officer has determined that this step is now necessary in Pacific County in light of the increasing scope and severity of the threat that COVID-19 poses. Although no cases are confirmed in Pacific County at this time, the increasing instances of community spread in Washington State have influenced the decision.

Razor Clam Conservation

In order to ensure conservation of clams for future generations, WDFW sets tentative razor clam seasons that are based on the results from an annual coast-wide razor clam stock assessment and by considering harvest to date. WDFW authorizes each dig independently after getting the results of marine toxin testing. 

Two razor clam digging weekends, in particular, should not be missed, said Ayres.  “The Ocean Shores Razor Clam and Seafood Festival on March 21 and 22, and the Long Beach Razor Clam Festival on April 11 are long-running events that celebrate the unique contribution of razor clams to Washington’s culture and coastal communities.” 

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.

Ayres reminds razor clam diggers, that anyone gathering clams in April will need a new 2020 license to participate.  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.

“Abundant razor clam populations on beaches are allowing for more digging opportunity this year,” said Ayres. “But, it is important that razor clam diggers be sure to only dig where it is allowed.” Razor clam diggers can find detailed beach maps that indicate locations and local names for beaches on WDFW’s website at https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfishing-regulations/razor-clams#beachmaps.

WDFW 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.

Additional safety considerations are important this time of year. “Diggers want to be sure to come prepared with good lighting devices and always keep an eye on the surf, particularly at this time of year when low tides come at dusk and after dark,” said Ayres.   All diggers age 15 or older must have an applicable 2019-20 fishing license to harvest razor clams on any beach. Licenses, ranging from a three-day razor clam license to an annual combination fishing license, are available on WDFW’s website at https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov and from license vendors around the state.