Category Archives: Headlines

Willapa Bay, Tribs Closed To Salmon Fishing Starting Today

THE FOLLOWING IS AN EMERGENCY RULE CHANGE NOTICE FROM THE WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE

Salmon fishing to close in Willapa Bay and its tributaries

Action: Closes salmon fishing

COLIN MEDVED SHOWS OFF A WILLAPA SYSTEM COHO CAUGHT IN A PREVIOUS SEASON. THE BAY AND ITS TRIBUTARIES ARE CLOSING AS OF NOV. 13 DUE TO “SIGNIFICANTLY” BELOW FORECAST RUNS. (YO-ZURI PHOTO CONTEST)

Effective date: Nov. 13, 2019 until further notice.

Species affected: Salmon

Locations:

  • Marine Area 2-1 (Willapa Bay)
  • Bear River
  • Forks Creek
  • Naselle River
  • Nemah River Middle, North, and South
  • North River
  • Smith Creek
  • Willapa River
  • Willapa River South Fork

Reason for action: Coho returns to tributaries in the Willapa Bay watershed have been significantly lower than preseason predictions. These conservation measures are being taken to ensure escapement goals are met. Managers will continue to assess coho returns and re-open if warranted.

Additional information: For more information on other Willapa Bay fisheries, see https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations.

The Ol’ Coho Fumblerooski Fails For 2 Hood Canal Anglers

There’s catching a second wind in the second half, but two anglers are having second thoughts about recently trying to catch a second limit of salmon.

The duo reportedly were observed at a Hood Canal boat access stashing eight coho — the daily limit — into their rig, and then heading back out onto the water for round two.

(WDFW)

Responding to the report, WDFW Officers Isaac Stutes and Jesse Ward watched as the two men netted and kept another pair of fish.

That was enough for the game wardens to contact the anglers, but then things got slippier than the football in last night’s turnover-ridden (but still glorious) Seahawks-49ers game.

“One of the men began fumbling around with the fish when they saw the officers,” WDFW Police stated on its Facebook page today. “The man dropped both fish in the water between the boat and the dock.”

Only problem, the water was so shallow that Ward could see both coho a mere 4 feet below the boat, according to WDFW.

At first the two men said they hadn’t caught any salmon besides the pair that were fumbled.

But given another chance to tell the truth, one responded, “You probably keep asking me because I’m such a bad liar,” according to WDFW.

They eventually allegedly admitted to all 10 salmon they caught, which were seized, and now the county prosecutor will be referred charges.

SW WA Fishing Report (11-12-19)

THE FOLLOWING WAS FORWARDED BY BRYANT SPELLMAN, WDFW

November 12, 2019

Tributary Fishery Reports

Salmon/Steelhead:

Columbia River Tributaries

Grays River – 4 bank anglers had no catch

Elochoman River – 2 bank anglers had no catch.

Cowlitz River – I-5 Br downstream – 84 bank rods kept five coho and one coho jack. 42 boats/110 rods kept 28 coho, 3 coho jacks and released 4 Chinook and 42 coho.

Above the I-5 Br – 44 bank rods kept three coho and released 37 Chinook. 5 boats/15 rods kept five coho, 3 coho jacks and released one Chinook and four coho.

Kalama River – 10 bank anglers had no catch.

Lewis River – 32 bank anglers kept one coho. 16 boats/43 rods kept four Chinook, 2 Chinook jacks, 10 coho, one coho jack and released five Chinook and three coho.

TRAVIS GOTTSCH SHOWS OFF A NICE LEWIS RIVER FALL CHINOOK CAUGHT A FEW MID-OCTOBERS BACK AND FORWARDED BY HIS PROUD UNCLE PATRICK. (YO-ZURI PHOTO CONTEST)

Klickitat below Fisher Hill Bridge – 39 bank anglers kept 15 Chinook, 13 coho, 2 coho jacks and released 15 Chinook and 11 coho.

Klickitat above #5 Fishway – 1 bank angler had no catch.

Tributaries not listed: Creel checks not conducted.

Low Chum Run Shuts Down Salmon Fishing In Some South Sound Waters

THE FOLLOWING IS AN EMERGENCY RULE CHANGE NOTICE FROM W.D.F.W.

Salmon fishing to close in Marine Area 10, part of Marine Area 13, the Green River, and Minter and Kennedy creeks

Action: Closes salmon fishing in areas listed, except in Marine Area 13 EAST of a line from the southernmost point of Devil’s Head to the eastern boundary of Tolmie State Park, where salmon fishing remains open, all chum must be released in addition to wild Chinook and wild coho.

SALMON FISHING WILL CLOSE ON THE GREEN, WHERE THIS CHUM WAS CAUGHT, AND SEVERAL OTHER SOUTH SOUND WATERS DUE TO A LOW RETURN. (TERRY WIEST/STEELHEAD UNIVERSITY)

Effective date: Nov. 12, 2019, until further notice.

Species affected: Salmon.

Locations:
Marine Area 10 (Seattle/Bremerton Area).

Marine Area 13 (South Puget Sound) waters EAST of a line from the southernmost point of Devil’s Head (at the southern end of Key Peninsula) to the eastern boundary of Tolmie State Park.

Marine Area 13 (South Puget Sound) waters WEST of a line from the southernmost point of Devil’s Head (at the southern end of Key Peninsula) to the eastern boundary of Tolmie State Park. (This includes Case Inlet, Henderson Inlet, Budd Inlet, Eld Inlet, Totten Inlet, Hammersly Inlet, and Oakland Bay.)

The Green (Duwamish) River, and Kennedy and Minter Creeks.

Reason for action: In-season information indicates lower than expected returns of chum salmon to south Puget Sound waters. WDFW is implementing this rule to meet chum salmon conservation and escapement objectives. 

Additional information:
Year-round fishing piers (as listed in the Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet) are excepted from this rule change and remain open as listed.

Salmon fishing remains open in the eastern portion of Marine Area 13, east of a line from the southernmost point of Devil’s Head (at the southern end of Key Peninsula) to the eastern boundary of Tolmie State Park, as part of the 2 salmon daily limit. Chinook-min. size 22”. Other salmon species no min. size. Release all wild Chinook, wild coho, and chum. View a map of the area at https://wdfw.wa.gov/sites/default/files/2019-11/marine_-_area13_11-8-19.pdf

Please see the 2019-20 Washington Sport Fishing Rules pamphlet for additional rules or visit the WDFW website at https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations.

$2,500 Reward Offered For Info On Bald Eagle Killing Near Riddle

THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE OREGON STATE POLICE FISH AND WILDLIFE DIVISION

Oregon State Police (OSP) Fish and Wildlife troopers are seeking the public’s assistance regarding a bald eagle being illegally shot with a firearm on Lower Cow Creek Road near West Fork Cow Creek Road.

(OSP)

On November 7, 2019 at about 9:00 AM, OSP Fish and Wildlife troopers responded to a reported bald eagle that was deceased in Lower Cow Creek. Upon examination by Fish and Wildlife troopers and personnel from Umpqua Wildlife Rescue, it was determined that the bald eagle died from being shot by a firearm. It is believed the bald eagle had been deceased for one to two days before being reported.

In conjunction with The TIP program and the Oregon Hunters Association TIP reward fund, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is offering a reward up to $2,500 for information leading to a criminal conviction of the person(s) responsible for the shooting. The bald eagle is currently protected by the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. The killing or possession of a bald eagle or its parts is a violation of both Acts, punishable by imprisonment of up to one year and a fine of up to $100,000.

Anyone with information regarding this case is urged to contact OSP Senior Trooper Kyle Bachmeier or Senior Trooper Curtis Weaver through the Turn in Poachers (TIP) hotline at 1-800-452-7888 or *OSP (mobile).

NOAA Reports Latest Blob Shrinking Since Late August But Still One Of North Pacific’s Largest

THE FOLLOWING IS A NATIONAL MARINE FISHERIES SERVICE STORY

The vast marine heatwave that spread warm temperatures across the northeast Pacific Ocean late in the summer and fall of 2019 has declined in size and pulled back from the West Coast, possibly reducing its immediate impacts on coastal ecosystems.

N.O.A.A. REPORTS THAT THE LATEST BLOB, OR MARINE HEAT WAVE, THE GIANT POOL OF OCEAN WATER THAT IS ABOVE AVERAGE SEA SURFACE TEMPERATURES, HAS SHRUNK SINCE LATE AUGUST, BUT STILL AMONG THE FIVE LARGEST ON RECORD. (NOAA)

It has declined to about half the size and intensity it displayed in August. However scientists caution that the heatwave designated MHW NEP19a remains two to three times the size of Alaska and still retains enormous amounts of heat in the upper layers of ocean. It remains one of the top four or five largest heatwaves on record in the North Pacific in the last 40 years.

“What we are seeing now is a smaller heatwave that is farther offshore, but there is still a very large span of the Pacific Ocean that is much warmer than usual,” said Andrew Leising, a research scientist at NOAA Fisheries’ Southwest Fisheries Science Center (SWFSC) in La Jolla, California. Leising has developed criteria to detect and gauge the size and magnitude of marine heatwaves. “The question is, where does it go from here? That’s what we’re watching now.”

The edge of the heatwave is now about 1,500 kilometers (about 930 miles) from the West Coast, but still envelops much of the Gulf of Alaska. It no longer so closely resembles the enormous earlier marine heatwave known as “the Blob” that affected much of the West Coast through 2014 and 2015, causing reverberations through the food web.

Low salmon returns to many West Coast rivers in the last few years have been linked to the Blob, which reduced the availability of food when the salmon first entered the ocean as juveniles.

Both the Blob and the current heatwave were large and carried a great deal of heat. But this summer’s warming near the West Coast did not reach as deep into the ocean or last as long, said research scientist Michael Jacox of the SWFSC. “It will be very interesting to compare the two events and their impacts on marine life and fisheries given the different character and timeline,” he said.

Scientists will be watching for effects of the current heatwave on species such as salmon and albacore that are sensitive to ocean conditions, said Elliott Hazen of the SWFSC. “Is this going to be a similar ecological response to what we saw in 2014-2015, not much of a response given we are still recovering, or something quite different?” he asked.

Leising noted that as the Blob of 2014-2015 grew and evolved, it also experienced some weakening in 2013 before regaining strength and then expanding in size. That doesn’t mean the current heatwave will do the same. But it does underscore how much and how fast marine heatwaves can shift and change in response to climate and other factors.

“This marine heatwave is still with us in a big way,” he said. “While it’s not directly impacting the coast as much at this point, we still have a lot to learn about how these events grow and evolve.”

NOAA’s latest North American Multi-Model Ensemble forecasts through May 2020 predict a gradual weakening of the offshore warming. The NOAA Climate Prediction Center’s November 4 Diagnostic Discussion notes that tropical conditions this fall have been near normal, and this is projected through spring 2020.  If a tropical El Niño event develops this fall or winter instead, it would favor wind, weather, and ocean current patterns that could cause a return of the nearshore warming along the West Coast in winter or spring 2020.

Oregon Senators’ Bill Aiming To Protect Owyhee Canyonlands Lauded

THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE NORTHWEST SPORTFISHING INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION

The Northwest Sportfishing Industry Association (NSIA) today praised the introduction of Malheur County Community Empowerment for the Owyhee Act by Sen. Ron Wyden to permanently protect more than a million acres of public land in Malheur County, including Oregon’s spectacular Owyhee Canyonlands, as wilderness and some 14.7 miles of rivers as wild and scenic.  The conservation measure, which is cosponsored by Sen. Jeff Merkley, would also safeguard the most scenic and ecologically sensitive public land in the region from new mining claims as well as oil and gas development.

AN ANGLER WADES THE OWYHEE RIVER IN SOUTHEAST OREGON. (TIM NEVILLE)

Renowned for wildlife-filled uplands and desert rivers that wind toward the Pacific, the Owyhee Canyonlands in the southeastern corner of Oregon is the largest unprotected, undeveloped area left in the contiguous United States. The region is well known for its blue-ribbon trout fishing and sport fishing.  It is also home to over 200 species of wildlife, including golden eagles, pronghorn antelope, elk, Greater sage-grouse and one of the largest herds of California bighorn sheep in the nation.

“People come from all over the planet to fish in our rivers and to hunt, hike, boat and explore the Owyhee Canyonlands,” said Liz Hamilton, executive director of the  Northwest Sportfishing Industry Association.  “This remote, high desert river canyon teeming with wildlife and fish is a special place that deserves permanent protection. We commend Senators Wyden and Merkley for their commitment to preserving this natural treasure.

“This bill would help keep the water of the Owyhee River and its tributaries clear and pristine for all to enjoy for future generations,” added Hamilton.  “Protecting the Owyhee Canyonlands will help ensure a growing economy.”

Outdoor recreation in Oregon generated $16.4 billion in consumer spending and accounted for 172,000 jobs in one year alone.

A MAP SHOWS AREAS PROPOSED FOR WILDERNESS PROTECTION (DARK BROWN). (BLM)

Efforts have been underway for decades to permanently protect this natural treasure.  In April, Senator Wyden initiated an inclusive process for diverse stakeholders to identify solutions for future management and protection of the Owyhee region.  Participants included sportsmen and women, ranchers, tribal representatives, agency staff, conservationists, and elected officials. NSIA was honored to participate in the effort to nurture the way of life for these small communities, while protecting the grandeur of a region that boasts world class fish and wildlife resources, important cultural resources, unique plant species, unparalleled star gazing and breathtaking scenic views among its many attributes.

“We appreciate Senator Wyden’s commitment to finding a balanced way forward,” said Hamilton.  “It was a long process and not everyone got everything they wanted.  But today we have a conservation measure before Congress that will ensure that this special place will stay as it is for our future anglers, hunters, hikers, and paddlers.  We hope it will be acted on quickly.”

Stocker Rainbows Adding Color To Fall Fishing Ops In Washington

A number of Western and Central Washington lakes are being stocked with nice-sized trout for fall fishing.

FALL ANGLERS FISH OFF A DOCK AT SEATTLE’S GREEN LAKE, WHICH RECEIVED 1,511 TWO-THIRDS-POUND RAINBOWS IN LATE OCTOBER. (ANDY WALGAMOTT)

WDFW says these rainbows average 15-plus inches, with some bouncing the scales at 3 pounds.

Releases are slated to occur prior to Black Friday at:

Clark County: Battle Ground Lake and Klineline Pond
Cowlitz County: Kress Lake
King County: Beaver, Fivemile, Green and Steel Lakes
Klickitat County: Rowland Lake
Lewis County: Fort Borst Park and South Lewis County Park Ponds
Mason County: Spencer Lake
Pacific County: Cases Pond
Pierce County: American and Tanwax Lakes
Skagit County: Clear and Cranberry Lakes
Snohomish County: Ballinger, Silver and Tye Lakes and Gissberg Ponds
Thurston County: Black, Long, and Offut Lakes
Whatcom County: Padden Lake
Yakima County: North Elton Pond

To narrow down the timeframe, keep an eye on https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/reports/stocking/trout-plants.

THANKS TO STATE HATCHERY RELEASES, WASHINGTON ANGLERS CAN ENJOY CATCHING AND EATING NICE-SIZED RAINBOWS LIKE THESE IN FALL. (JOSHUA MYERS VIA WDFW)

Steel and Padden were scheduled to close after Halloween, but have been kept open past New Year’s Day via a rule change that came out last week, and were both recently stocked and will be again around Thanksgiving.

WDFW is running a pilot program focusing on expanding fishing opportunities in Pugetropolis’s I-5 corridor.

“I’m really excited to offer these fisheries and hopefully it leads to getting more people into the sport,” WDFW biologist Justin Spinelli in Mill Creek told Mark Yuasa for an article in our latest issue. “We’re trying this out in urban-centered areas. We know a lot of people in the cities may be interested in getting outside and going fishing. This allows them to access nearby lakes and it’s not too complicated and doesn’t require a whole bunch of gear.”

In Eastern Washington, Fourth of July Lake on the Adams-Lincoln County line, Hatch and Williams Lakes in Stevens County, and Hog Canyon Lake in Spokane County will open on Black Friday for a winter fishery powered by previous years’ trout fly plants.

“WDFW’s trout stocking and hatchery programs are active year-round,” said Steve Caromile, the agency’s Inland Fish Program manager. “We provide the gift of spending time with friends and family on lakes around the state, at any time of the year.”

Anglers 15 years and older need a freshwater fishing license to dangle worms, eggs and other offerings for trout in lakes. Licenses are available online and at numerous local outlets.

Salmon Habitat, Hatcheries, Pinnipeds Among Billy Frank Jr. Salmon Coalition Priorities

THE FOLLOWING IS THE MONTHLY “BEING FRANK” COLUMN BY LORRAINE LOOMIS, CHAIR OF THE NORTHWEST INDIAN FISHERIES COMMISSION

The Billy Frank Jr. Salmon Coalition is looking forward to another year of working together to accomplish responsible management through responsible leadership.

We formed the coalition of tribal, state and local policy leaders, sport and commercial fishermen, conservation groups, scientists, business and others following the inaugural Billy Frank Jr. Pacific Salmon Summit in March 2018. Our goal is to return to the kind of cooperation that has always been the key to natural resources management in our region.

WDFW’S RON WARREN AND NWIFC’S LORRAINE LOOMIS SPEAK DURING A RARE BUT WELL-ATTENDED STATE-TRIBAL PLENARY SESSION IN 2017 ON WESTERN WASHINGTON SALMON. THE TWO AND THEIR ORGANIZATIONS ARE AMONG MEMBERS OF THE NEW  BILLY FRANK JR. SALMON COALITION. (ANDY WALGAMOTT)

Earlier this month, we presented our priorities at the second Salmon Summit. They include restoring and protecting disappearing salmon habitat, enhancing hatchery production, and management of seal and sea lion populations.

We are advocating for expanding salmon habitat by supporting protection of streamside habitat through uniform, science-based requirements across the region. That means creating healthy streamside buffers with plenty of mature trees and vegetation that keep water temperatures low, stabilize riverbanks and contribute to diverse in-stream habitat for salmon.

We are working to revise habitat standards in the state’s Growth Management Act and other land-use protection guidelines from one of No Net Loss to one of Net Gain. We know that we are losing salmon habitat faster than it can be restored and that the status quo does not lead to salmon recovery. We also advocate for a statewide permit tracking system to create transparency, accountability and efficiency in tracking land-use decisions.

HEAVY EQUIPMENT BREACHES A LEVEE TO TURN OLD FARMLANDS NEAR MARYSVILLE, WASH., INTO HABITAT FOR LISTED CHINOOK SALMON. (NOAA)

Healthy habitat is critical for both naturally spawning and hatchery salmon to sustain their populations. Until habitat can be restored, hatcheries remain key to salmon recovery. The Billy Frank Jr. Salmon Coalition supports increased state, federal and other funding to provide for increased salmon production and maintenance of state, federal, tribal and non-profit hatchery facilities in the region.

We also support increased hatchery production in key watersheds to produce salmon for Indian and non-Indian fisheries and contribute to prey availability for southern resident orcas based on the latest science.

KIRAN WALGAMOTT PEERS INTO RACEWAYS AT THE WALLACE SALMON HATCHERY NEAR GOLD BAR. THE FACILITY REARS COHO, SUMMER CHINOOK AND STEELHEAD FOR HARVEST BY STATE AND TRIBAL FISHERMEN. (ANDY WALGAMOTT)

We know that predation by pinnipeds such as harbor seals and California sea lions on both adult and juvenile salmon is out of balance and slowing salmon recovery significantly. Harbor seal populations in the Salish Sea alone have grown from about 8,500 to nearly 80,000 in the past two decades. It has been documented that seals and sea lions are eating more than six times the number of salmon harvested by fishermen.

HUGH ALLEN SNAPPED THIS HARBOR SEAL STEALING A SAN JUANS SALMON LITERALLY OFF AN ANGLER’S LINE. (HUGH ALLEN)

Our coalition is developing recommendations to maintain stable seal and sea lion populations that won’t undermine salmon recovery efforts.

As a first step we are calling for an assessment of the status of pinniped populations in this region to determine the optimal sustainable populations of harbor seal and sea lion stocks that won’t slow salmon recovery. If need be, we support lethal removal of problem animals similar to efforts on the Columbia River.

There are no more easy answers when it comes to salmon recovery. Those got used up a long time ago. What we are left with is hard work. We can only be successful if we work together to do what we agree is necessary, then speak that truth together to everyone who lives here. The Billy Frank Jr. Salmon Coalition was developed to honor Billy’s legacy by connecting the best in all of us to face the challenges before us and do the work needed to maintain the health, wealth and culture of our region.

A TESTAMENT TO THE SHIFTING NATURE OF WASHINGTON FISH POLITICS — BILLY FRANK JR., WHO WAS ONCE BRANDED A FISH POACHER AND ARRESTED BY STATE FISHERY OFFICERS DOZENS UPON DOZENS OF TIMES, APPEARED TOP CENTER ON THE DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE’S WEBSITE AFTER HIS MAY 2014 PASSING. THEN-WDFW DIRECTOR PHIL ANDERSON SAID HE’D BEEN HONORED TO KNOW HIM.

You can find out more about the Billy Frank Jr. Salmon Coalition at https://salmondefense.org/projects/advocate/coalition/

Editor’s note: Nontribal core/leadership members of the Billy Frank Jr. Salmon Coalition include Puget Sound Anglers President Ron Garner, Butch Smith of Ilwaco Charters, retired WDFW Director Phil Anderson, Fish and Wildlife Commission Vice Chair Barbara Baker, and Long Live The Kings Executive Director Jacques White, among others.

Tribal core leadership members include Lorraine Loomis, Swinomish Tribe/NWIFC Chair; Dave Herrera, Skokomish Tribe /NWIFC; Willie Frank, Nisqually Tribal Council; Ed Johnstone, Quinault Nation/NWIFC; and Justin Parker, Makah Tribe/NWIFC.

Weeklong Washington Coast Razor Clam Opener Starts Veterans Day

THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE

Razor clam diggers can return to ocean beaches for a seven-day opening beginning on Veterans Day, November 11.

NEXT WEEK WILL SEE A SERIES OF NEGATIVE EVENING TIDES ON THE WASHINGTON COAST, WHERE STATE SHELLFISH MANAGERS HAVE APPROVED SEVEN DAYS OF RAZOR CLAM DIGGING AT VARIOUS BEACHES. (BECKY VOLK VIA WDFW)

State shellfish managers with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) approved the dig on evening low tides after marine toxin tests showed the clams are safe to eat.

The upcoming dig is for the following dates and low tides:

  • Nov. 11, Monday, 5:51 pm, 0.1 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • Nov. 12, Tuesday, 6:27 pm, -0.3 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Nov. 13, Wednesday, 7:03 pm, -0.5 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • Nov. 14, Thursday, 7:41 pm, -0.6 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Nov. 15, Friday, 8:22 pm, -0.5 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • Nov. 16, Saturday, 9:08 pm, -0.3 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Nov. 17, Sunday, 9:59 pm, -0.1 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis

No digging is allowed before noon for allowed digs, when low tide occurs in the evening.

“We are encouraging people to get out there with family and friends to experience razor clam digging, one of Washington’s oldest and greatest traditions, ” said Dan Ayres, WDFW coastal shellfish manager

For a list of proposed razor clam digs on Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis and Mocrocks beaches through December, please see: https://wdfw.wa.gov/news/wdfw-announces-additional-tentative-razor-clam-digs-through-december.

Final approval of the tentatively scheduled openings in November and December will depend on whether results of marine toxin tests show the clams are safe to eat.

Additional safety considerations are important to those who engage in digs near dusk and at night.

“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.

WDFW is also asking for razor clam fans around the state to weigh in on the perennial question: Which is better, clam or shovel? To register support for a favored digging method, clam diggers can post a photo or video, complete with hashtag #TeamClamShovel or #TeamClamGun on any social media before the end of the season

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.

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.