State shellfish managers earlier this evening announced that the razor clam digs scheduled for next week will proceed as planned, after marine toxin tests confirmed the clams are safe to eat.
Two ocean beaches – Long Beach and Twin Harbors – will be open on morning low tides Thursday-April 9. No digging will be allowed after noon.
A decision on the second April dig – tentatively scheduled April 19-23 – will be announced after a separate set of toxin tests have been completed, said Dan Ayres, coastal shellfish manager for the state Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Ayres reminds diggers age 15 or older that they must purchase a 2011-12 license to participate in the April openings, since 2010-11 state fishing licenses expired today.
“It’s always best to have a current license in hand before you head for the beach,” Ayres said in a news release. “Nobody wants to be waiting in line at the license counter at low tide.”
Ayres also reminds diggers that portions of the beach at Long Beach and Twin Harbors are closed to the public to protect nesting western snowy plovers, which are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.
The closed portion at each beach includes the area above the mean high tide line. At Long Beach, the closed areas are located north of the Oysterville Road from the state park boundary north to Leadbetter Point. At Twin Harbors, the closed areas are located from just south of Midway Beach Road to the first beach-access trail at Grayland Beach State Park.
The low tide times are:
- Thursday: 9:37 a.m. (0.1 feet); Long Beach, Twin Harbors
- April 8: 10:19 a.m. (0.2 feet); Long Beach, Twin Harbors
- April 9: 11:07 a.m. (0.4 feet); Long Beach, Twin Harbors
Under state rules, harvesters may take no more than 15 razor clams and must keep the first 15 taken, regardless of size or condition. Each digger’s limit must be kept in a separate container.