(WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH & WILDLIFE PRESS RELEASE)
The first razor-clam dig of the fall season will get under way Oct. 16 if marine toxin tests show the clams are safe to eat, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) announced today. Additional digging opportunities are scheduled through Jan. 3
Evening digs are tentatively planned at Twin Harbors (Oct. 16-19); Long Beach and Copalis (Oct. 16, 17 and 18); and Mocrocks and Kalaloch Beach (Oct. 17 and18). Digging at all beaches will be restricted to the hours between noon and midnight.
“The results of our 2009 summer stock assessment show that Long Beach, Twin Harbors and Kalaloch Beach have had an increase in their total allowable catch, while Copalis and Mocrocks are about the same,” said Dan Ayres, WDFW coastal shellfish manager. “This is great news for Kalaloch, which will have harvest opportunities for the first time since spring 2007.”
Kalaloch had been closed due to low clam abundance, but this year’s annual stock assessment shows approximately 3.5 million clams of harvestable size, Ayres said. The National Park Service scheduled the proposed digs at Kalaloch Beach, located within Olympic National Park, to coincide with those at other coastal beaches.
“We’re also pleased to be able to offer folks several opportunities to dig clams on the low tides around New Year’s, which is a very popular time,” Ayres said.
The best time to start digging is an hour or two before low tide, said Ayres, who also recommends that diggers check weather and surf conditions before heading out.
Harvesters are allowed to take no more than 15 razor clams and must keep the first 15 they dig, regardless of size or condition. Each digger’s clams must be kept in a separate container.
A license is required for anyone age 15 or older. Any 2009 annual shellfish/seaweed license or combination fishing license is still valid. Another option is a razor-clam only license available in annual or three-day only versions. Descriptions of the various licensing options are available on the WDFW website at fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov.
Olympic National Park superintendent Karen Gustin added a safety note for evening clam diggers, especially at Kalaloch. “Kalaloch is considerably more remote than the other clamming beaches, and visitors should be prepared for primitive conditions. With no streetlights or lighted buildings in the area, flashlights or lanterns are a necessity.”
A public meeting conducted jointly with staff from Olympic National Park will be held in Forks to further discuss razor clam populations at Kalaloch Beach. The meeting will be held Wednesday, Oct. 7, 7-8:30 p.m., at the Washington Department of Natural Resources conference room at 411 Tillicum Lane near Tillicum Park in Forks.
Besides the openings announced through Jan. 3, there should also be enough clams on most beaches to allow for harvesting later in 2010, Ayres said.
Tentative opening dates and evening low tides in October are:
- Friday, Oct. 16 ( 5:50 p.m. -0.5 ft.) Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
- Saturday, Oct. 17 (6:38 p.m. -0.8 ft.) Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks, Kalaloch
- Sunday, Oct. 18 (7:23 p.m. -1.1ft.) Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks, Kalaloch
- Monday, Oct. 19 (8:06 p.m. -1.1 ft.) Twin Harbors
In addition, WDFW has tentatively scheduled four other digs through Jan. 3.
Digs scheduled in November include:
- Wednesday, Nov. 4 (7:33 p.m. -1.3 ft.) Long Beach, Twin Harbors
- Thursday, Nov. 5 (8:18 p.m. -1.2 ft.) Twin Harbors
- Friday, Nov. 6 (9:07 p.m. -0.9 ft.) Long Beach, Twin Harbors
- Saturday, Nov. 7 (9:59 p.m. -0.5 ft.) Long Beach, Twin Harbors
- Saturday, Nov. 14 (4:34 p.m. -0.3 ft.) Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks
- Sunday, Nov. 15 (5:21 p.m. -0.7 ft.) Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks
- Monday, Nov. 16 (6:05 p.m. -0.9 ft.) Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks, Kalaloch
- Tuesday, Nov. 17 (6:47 p.m. -0.8 ft.) Twin Harbors
Digs scheduled December 2 through Jan. 3 include:
- Wednesday, Dec. 2 (6:32 p.m. -1.2 ft.) Long Beach, Twin Harbors
- Thursday, Dec. 3 (7:18 p.m. -1.4 ft.) Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks
- Friday, Dec. 4 (8:04 p.m. -1.3 ft.) Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks, Kalaloch
- Saturday, Dec. 5 (8:51 p.m. -0.9 ft.) Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks, Kalaloch
- Thursday, Dec. 31 (6:16 p.m. -1.1 ft.) Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks, Kalaloch
- Friday, Jan. 1 (7:01 p.m. -1.8 ft.) Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks, Kalaloch
- Saturday, Jan. 2 (7:45 p.m. -1.6 ft.) Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks
- Sunday, Jan. 3 (8:29 p.m. -1.2 ft.) Twin Harbors
Beaches scheduled to open are:
- Long Beach , which extends from the Columbia River to Leadbetter Point.
- Twin Harbors Beach , which extends from the mouth of Willapa Bay north to the south jetty at the mouth of Grays Harbor.
- Copalis Beach , which extends from the Grays Harbor north jetty to the Copalis River, and includes the Copalis, Ocean Shores, Oyhut, Ocean City and Copalis areas.
- Mocrocks Beach , which extends from the Copalis River to the southern boundary of the Quinault Reservation near the Moclips River, including Iron Springs, Roosevelt Beach, Pacific Beach and Moclips.
- Kalaloch Beach , which extends from the South Beach Campground to Brown’s Point (just south of Beach Trail 3) in the Olympic National Park.