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Razor clam dig opens Tuesday on Washington coast; could be last of the season

Post by Jeff Mayor / The News Tribune on April 29, 2011 at 3:56 pm with No Comments »
April 29, 2011 3:56 pm

A short time ago, the state announced the go ahead for what might be the last razor-clam dig of the season.

Morning digs will be allowed on Long Beach and Twin Harbors from Tuesday-May 8. Mocrocks Beach will be open May 7-8.

No digging will be allowed on any of those beaches after noon.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife approved the dig after marine toxin tests showed that the clams on all three beaches are safe to eat.

Dan Ayres, coastal shellfish coordinator, said this may be the season finale because diggers have taken most of the razor clams available for harvest this season on Washington’s ocean beaches.

“The April opener was very successful, both in terms of weather conditions and the number of clams dug,” Ayres said in a news release. “After this next dig, we’ll have to see if any more clams can be harvested under the state’s share of the annual quota.”

Copalis and Kalaloch are closed for the season, said Ayres, noting that the April dig brought Copalis Beach up to 98.8 percent of the state’s harvest quota. “What remains isn’t enough for even one more day of digging,” he said in the release.

Copalis Beach lies south of the Copalis River and includes Ocean Shores, Oyhut and Ocean City. Ayres cautions diggers to observe the boundary between that area and Mocrocks Beach, which will open May 7-8 north of the Copalis River. The area opening to digging at Mocrocks includes Iron Springs, Roosevelt Beach, Pacific Beach and Moclips.

“The boundary isn’t really an issue when both beaches are open for digging, but it will be for the upcoming opening,” he said.

Here is the rest of the release:

Ayres also reminds diggers to avoid signed upland beach areas at Long Beach and Twin Harbors, which are closed to protect nesting western snowy plovers. 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.

Dates and morning low tides for the upcoming dig are:

  • Tuesday: 7:29 a.m., -0.6 ft; Long Beach, Twin Harbors.
  • Wednesday: 8:04 a.m., -0.8 ft; Long Beach, Twin Harbors.
  • Thursday: 8:40 a.m., -0.8 ft; Long Beach, Twin Harbors.
  • May 6: 9:18 a.m., -0.8 ft; Long Beach, Twin Harbors.
  • May 7: 10:00 a.m., -0.6 ft; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks.
  • May 8: 10:46 a.m., -0.4 ft; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks.

To participate in the upcoming dig, everyone age 15 or older must carry a valid 2011-12 license, since all 2010-11 state fishing licenses expired March 31. Various licenses – ranging from a three-day razor-clam license to a multi-species combination license – are avaiIable online, by phone (866-246-9453) and from sporting goods stores and other retail license dealers around the state.

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.

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