Tag Archives: razor clam

Shopping For Fishing Ideas? Yuasa Shares December Ops, Plus 2018 NW Salmon Derby Sched

Editor’s note: The following is Mark Yuasa’s monthly fishing newsletter, Get Hooked on Reel Times With Mark, and is run with permission.

By Mark Yuasa, Director of Grow Boating Programs, Northwest Marine Trade Association

A close peek at calendar made me wince as the holidays are in full-swing with 24/7 Christmas movies on the Hallmark Channel and malls filled to the gills with shoppers.

While that is all near and dear to my heart, I’ve also got this holiday free-time addiction called “salmon fishing.”

GUY MAMIYA WHO CAUGHT A 9 POUND, 15 OUNCE HATCHERY CHINOOK OFF SALTY’S RESTAURANT LEADS THE TENGU BLACKMOUTH DERBY HELD EVERY SUNDAY IN ELLIOTT BAY THROUGH DEC. 31. (COURTESY MARK YUASA, NMTA)

No matter what kind of remedy I seek, it just keeps hooking me into getting on my boat. On some mornings, I’ll even tow the boat to the ramp, sniff the air for wind and then make a game-time decision.

In past seasons, December wasn’t just filled with mistletoe bliss, but earmarked a time to go chinook fishing and bring back a couple nice salmon fillets for the holiday dinner table.

Yet, here we are right in middle of another holiday rush, and the choices to wet a line for salmon are rather slim pickings.

Bummed you ask?

We can gripe why December salmon fishing isn’t up to snuff or look at viable options to keeping a rod-and-reel in hand. I unanimously choose the latter.

A top choice is the Clay Banks off the Point Defiance Park area in Tacoma – part of south-central Puget Sound (Marine Catch Area 11) open through April 30 – which is often teeming with baitfish, hungry hatchery chinook and protected from prevailing southerly winds.

Tops on my radar screen is central Puget Sound (10), which for the moment is open through Feb. 28, unless an emergency closure shuts it down.

Here one can find plenty of action at places like Allen Bank off the southeast side of Blake Island; west side of Blake Island; Restoration Point; Rich Passage; Yeomalt Point; Southworth; Manchester; and northwestern tip off Vashon Island.

Keep your eyes open at other spots like Hood Canal (12) and southern Puget Sound (13). Further down the pipeline is when the San Juan Islands (7) reopen Jan. 1 just in time to ring in the New Year!

Winter Dungeness crab fishing also remains open daily in some marine areas through Dec. 31, and this can turn you into a “rock star” at the holiday dining table as guests devour a big bowl of fresh cracked crab. It’s time to get on this one!

Look for crab around Whidbey Island; northeast side of Kitsap Peninsula; Camano Island; Mukilteo area; Holmes Harbor; Hat Island; Port Angeles Harbor; Strait of Juan de Fuca; and San Juan Islands. Remember due to a downtrend in crab abundance locations south of Edmonds and Hood Canal – Marine Catch Areas 10, 11, 12 and 13 are closed this winter.

Early salmon fishing closures for Areas 8 and 9

This nice pair of hatchery chinook were caught at Midchannel Bank off Port Townsend in early November before the Area 9 closure on-board the boat of Tom Nelson, host of the Outdoor Line on KIRO 710 AM.

Rewind to Nov. 1 when alarm bells rang left and right, as news came out that encounter rates of sub-legal chinook – those under the 22-inch minimum size limit – were much higher than anticipated.

It was then WDFW fishery managers took a cautious approach to close the seasons on Nov. 13 – two-weeks earlier than planned in northern Puget Sound (9) and east side of Whidbey Island (8-1 and 8-2), which was supposed to stay open through April 30. A decision to close them was inevitable to keep the fishing machine humming again sometime after the New Year.

Ryan Lothrop, the state Fish and Wildlife Puget Sound recreational salmon manager said: “In 2015, we had a lot of sub-legals in fisheries, and we don’t want to impact our winter fisheries happening later on. Most agree that we wait until these fish grow larger, and have a more predictable opportunity.”

I’ve been a huge fan of selective salmon fishing for winter blackmouth dating back more than two decades when state fisheries began mass-marking hatchery salmon.

Their objective was to increase opportunities for sport anglers by being able to distinguish the difference between wild unmarked and adipose fin-clipped chinook in fisheries open at certain periods of the year.

While that was all fine and dandy, a decision by state fishery managers a while back to begin assessing ongoing salmon encounters of both sub-legal and legal-size fish, now makes or breaks if anglers can fish for hatchery-produced salmon.

Each marine area has an “encounter ceiling.” As each area nears the ceiling they’re often faced with premature closures especially when the sub-legal catch skyrockets like it did last month.

This has been a hard pill to swallow by anglers especially since millions of dollars are spent by state, tribal and federal agencies to produce and fin-clip hatchery chinook and coho. The lifecycle of these fish is to constantly feed and grow, and eventually get caught. But, since it’s considered a mixed stock of wild and hatchery fish, and with a Puget Sound ESA listing you get the big picture of the situation.

Data taken from Nov. 1-5, showed 495 boats with 889 anglers in Area 9 kept 240 legal-size chinook and released 1,137 sub-legals for a total encounter rate of 1,377 fish. The guideline for encounters is 11,053 fish putting the fishery already at a staggering 88 percent for sub-legals and 12 percent at legal-size fish.

From Nov. 1-5, 98 boats with 172 anglers in Area 8-1 kept 52 legal-size hatchery chinook (plus five unmarked wild fish kept) and released 67 sub-legal size hatchery chinook for a total encounter rate of 124 fish. In Area 8-2, 165 boats with 315 anglers kept 50 legal-size hatchery chinook and released 65 sub-legal size hatchery chinook for 115. The guideline for encounters in both areas is 5,492 fish putting the fishery already at a staggering 88 percent for sub-legals and 12 percent at legal-size fish.

From Nov. 1-5, 73 boats with 162 anglers in Area 10 kept eight legal-size chinook and released 10 sub-legals for a total encounter rate of 18 fish. The guideline for encounters is 5,349 fish putting the fishery at 73 percent for sub-legals and 9 percent at legal-size fish.

NW Salmon Derby Series debuts 2018 boat and schedule

The Everett No-Coho Blackmouth Derby was held Nov. 4-5 that drew 499 anglers who caught 109 chinook averaging 6.22 pounds (146 fish were caught last year averaging 6.55 pounds). About 70 percent of the fish were caught on first day due to the lousy weather conditions by second day. The winner was Adam Burke who caught an 11.89 chinook and took home a check for $4,000.

The winner of the Northwest Salmon Derby Series grand prize $85,000 fully-loaded Hewescraft boat with Honda motors went to Gary March of Worley, Idaho who fished earlier this summer in The Big One Salmon Derby on Lake Coeur d’Alene. In all more than 4,000 anglers were entered in 14 derbies. The story on March is truly a must read, and can be found at http://nmtablog.blogspot.com/2017/11/northwest-salmon-derby-series-grand.html.

Looking toward 2018 we’ve got some exciting news as we introduce a derby to the series, and our new grand prize boat will be a KingFisher 2025 Falcon Series powered with a Honda 150hp and 9.9hp trolling motors on a EZ-loader galvanized trailer and fully rigged with Scotty downriggers, Raymarine electronics, WhoDat Tower and a Dual Electronics Stereo – a $65,000 value.

The 15 derbies in the series starts off with the Resurrection Salmon Derby on Jan. 5-7 in Anacortes.

Here is the 2018 Northwest Salmon Derby Series schedule:

•Resurrection Salmon Derby January 5-7
•Roche Harbor Salmon Classic Jan. 18-20
•Friday Harbor Salmon Classic Feb. 8-10
•Olympic Peninsula Salmon Derby March 9-11
•Everett Blackmouth Derby March 17-18
•Bellingham Salmon Derby July 13-15
•The Big One Salmon Derby July 25-29
•Brewster Salmon Derby August 2-5
•South King County PSA Derby August 4
•Gig Harbor PSA Derby August 11
•Vancouver, B.C., Canada Chinook Classic August 18-19
•Edmonds Coho Derby September 8 (Depends on season setting process)
•Columbia River Fall Salmon Derby September 8
•Everett Coho Derby September 22-23 (Depends on season setting process)
•Everett No-Coho Blackmouth Salmon Derby November 3-4

(The 2018 schedule is subject to change)

For additional derby details, go to http://www.nwsalmonderbyseries.com/.

Dig into more coastal beaches

The next round of coastal razor clam digs have been approved for Friday through Monday (Dec. 1-4) during evening low tides only.

Digging will be open Dec. 1 at Copalis (minus-0.3 feet at 4:42 p.m.); Dec. 2 at Long Beach, Twin Harbors and Mocrocks (-1.1 at 5:29 p.m.); Dec. 3 at Long Beach, Twin Harbors and Copalis (-1.6 at 6:15 p.m.); Dec. 4 at Long Beach, Twin Harbors and Mocrocks (-1.8 at 7:02 p.m.); and Dec. 31 Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis and Mocrocks (-1.2 at 5:12 p.m.).

Diggers will find a mixed bag of razor clam sizes – diggers must keep the first 15 clams dug regardless of size or condition – and the key is if you’re finding small ones in a certain area of the beach don’t be afraid to move to another spot, according to Dan Ayres, the head state Fish and Wildlife coastal shellfish manager.

Despite the a mixed bag it looks like razor clam diggers are finding oodles of clams on coastal beaches.

“The most recent digs (Nov. 2-5) went well, and we had 27,770 digger trips with 366,484 clams dug,” Ayres said. “That comes out to 13.2 clams per person.”

A breakdown by beaches showed Twin Harbors had 5,268 diggers Nov. 3-5 with 73,215 clams for an average of 13.9 clams per person; Copalis had 4,904 with 52,541 Nov. 2 and Nov. 4 for 10.7; Mocrocks had 3m229 with 47,354 Nov. 3 and Nov. 5 for 14.7; and Long Beach had 14,371 with 193,373 Nov. 3-5 for 13.5.

“The crowds were lighter than we had projected and I’m sure the weather forecast scared away some from turning out,” Ayres said. “The exception was Long Beach, which had more than expected, and the folks did quite well. Down the road we might need to back off at Long Beach, but the other beaches were fine.”

After just two series of digs, Long Beach has harvested 36 percent of the total allowable catch for the entire season.

Another dig is planned on Dec. 31, and more digs for January and February will be announced very soon.

Ayres pointed out they’re not seeing any issues with marine toxins like domoic acid, and are likely past the sensitive time of the year.

“We will go ahead with next digs planned in December, and then reassess to make sure we have enough clams for digs after the New Year and in spring,” Ayres said.

Diggers should check for updates on next digs by going to http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/razorclams/.

Razor Clam Digs Set For Dec. 1-4 At Varying Washington Beaches

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

Razor clam diggers will have the opportunity to fill their limits during a four-day dig beginning Dec. 1 on various ocean beaches.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) approved the Dec. 1-4 dig on evening tides after marine toxin tests show the clams are safe to eat. No digging will be allowed before noon.

RAZOR CLAMMERS WORK THE BEACH DURING AN EARLY 2010 SEASON. (JASON BAUER)

Some areas have a mix of both large and small razor clams. Diggers are required to keep the first 15 clams they dig, regardless of size or conditions, to avoid wasting clams, said Dan Ayres, coastal shellfish manager for WDFW.

Diggers should also remember to bring a lantern for the digs with later low tides, Ayres said. The best digging typically occurs one to two hours before low tide.

The upcoming dig is approved on the following beaches, dates and evening low tides:

Dec. 1, Friday, 4:42 p.m.; -0.3 feet; Copalis

Dec. 2, Saturday, 5:29 p.m.; -1.1 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks

Dec. 3, Sunday, 6:15 p.m.; -1.6 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis

Dec. 4, Monday, 7:02 p.m.; -1.8 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks

All diggers age 15 or older must have an applicable 2017-18 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. Each digger’s clams must be kept in a separate container.

WDFW has tentatively scheduled another dig for Dec. 31. In the coming weeks, the department also will announce planned digs for January and February, Ayres said.

For more information about recreational razor clamming, visit WDFW’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/razorclams/.

2 Beaches Up, 2 On Hold For WA Coast Nov. Razor Clam Digs

WDFW PRESS RELEASE

A razor clam dig in early November will go ahead as planned at Long Beach and Twin Harbors, but the status of two other ocean beaches tentatively scheduled to open depends on results from additional toxin testing.

RAZOR CLAMMERS WORK THE BEACH DURING AN EARLY 2010 SEASON. (JASON BAUER)

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has approved the Nov. 3-5 dig on evening tides at Long Beach and Twin Harbors after marine toxin tests showed that clams on those beaches are safe to eat. No digging will be allowed before noon.

Dan Ayres, WDFW coastal shellfish manager, said that test results at Mocrocks and Copalis meet state health standards, but the Washington Department of Health has asked for one more test to be sure. WDFW expects to announce the results of the testing early next week.

Tentative dig dates for Mocrocks and Copalis can be found on WDFW’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/razorclams/current.html

Ayres reminds people that they have a daily harvest limit of 15 razor clams and must keep the first 15 clams they dig. Each digger’s clams must be kept in a separate container.

The upcoming dig is approved on the following beaches, dates and evening low tides:

  • Nov. 3, Friday, 6:47 p.m.; -0.7 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • Nov. 4, Saturday, 7:31 p.m.; -1.2 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors
  • Nov. 5, Sunday, 7:16 p.m.; -1.4 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors

All diggers age 15 or older must have an applicable 2017-18 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.

WDFW has tentatively scheduled another dig for Dec. 1-4, pending results of future toxin tests.

Mocrocks Won’t Open For Razor Clams; Season’s Now Done Till Fall

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

State shellfish managers have closed Mocrocks beach to razor clam digging due to elevated marine toxin levels, bringing Washington’s razor clam season to an end.

An initial toxin test last week indicated clams at Mocrocks were safe to eat, a second set of clams tested this week found that domoic acid levels now exceed the state public health threshold, said Dan Ayres, coastal shellfish manager for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). Two rounds of testing are required under state health rules before WDFW will open a beach to digging.

BAD MOJO FOR RAZOR CLAMMERS. (NOAA)

“We had hoped to have one last opening at Mocrocks this season,” Ayres said. “Unfortunately, toxin levels are on the rise and are unlikely to drop before the end of the month, when the clams begin to spawn and the beaches are closed to digging.”

Last week, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) closed both Long Beach and Twin Harbors beaches because of elevated levels of domoic acid.

A natural toxin produced by certain types of marine algae, domoic acid can be harmful or even fatal if consumed in sufficient quantities. The toxin has posed problems for razor clam and crab fisheries along Washington’s coast for the last two years.

Last week, state shellfish managers closed Copalis beach because the number of harvestable clams there has been met. However, the most recent tests show that domoic acid levels in razor clams collected from this beach now also exceed the state public health threshold.

Ayres said the next season will begin in the fall, when the older clams have recovered from spawning and a new generation begins to grow beneath the sand.

“We’ll conduct our annual assessment of clam populations over the summer and hope to open beaches again in September or October,” Ayres said.

More information about domoic acid, as well as information on Washington’s razor clam fishery, can be found on WDFW’s webpage at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/razorclams/domoic_acid.html.

 

25-Clam Limit For Long Beach As Digs OKed There, Elsewhere

THE FOLLOWING ARE A PRESS RELEASE AND AN EMERGENCY RULE-CHANGE NOTICE FROM THE WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE

Razor clam diggers can look forward to a six-day opening starting tomorrow (April 26) on various ocean beaches and will have an increased daily limit of 25 clams at Long Beach.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has approved the dig on morning tides at four ocean beaches after toxin test results show the clams on those beaches are safe to eat.

LED BY THEIR “RAZOR CLAM MASTER” GRANDFATHER, WALLY SANDE (LEFT), CORBIN, LEXI AND AUSTIN HAN, THEIR PARENTS JERRY AND BRITT, ALONG WITH WALLY’S WIFE CAROL, ENJOYED A GREAT DIG A COUPLE APRILS AGO NEAR WESTPORT, LIMITING IN JUST HALF AN HOUR OR SO. AFTERWARDS, JERRY ALSO ENJOYED CATCHING REDTAIL SURFPERCH ON CLAM NECKS. (DAIWA PHOTO CONTEST)

State shellfish managers agreed to increase the daily limit for this dig at Long Beach, which has been closed much of the razor clam season due to elevated marine toxin levels, said Dan Ayres, WDFW coastal shellfish manager. 

“We wanted to provide diggers with some additional opportunity at Long Beach since we know there are plenty of clams there for harvest,” Ayres said.

The increased limit of 25 clams per day applies only at Long Beach, Ayres said. Diggers at Twin Harbors, Mocrocks and Copalis can harvest the typical limit of 15 clams per day. Diggers are required to keep the first 15 clams (or first 25 clams at Long Beach) they dig. Each digger’s clams must be kept in a separate container.

Ayres noted the opening coincides with the annual Long Beach Razor Clam Festival, which is held April 29 and 30. For more information, visit the festival website at http://longbeachrazorclamfestival.com/.

The upcoming dig is approved on the following beaches, dates and morning low tides:

  • April 26, Wednesday, 7:09 a.m.; -1.1 feet; Twin Harbors, Long Beach
  • April 27, Thursday, 7:55 a.m.; -1.5 feet; Twin Harbors, Mocrocks, Long Beach
  • April 28, Friday, 8:42 a.m.; -1.8 feet, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Long Beach
  • April 29, Saturday, 9:32 a.m.; -1.7 feet; Twin Harbors, Mocrocks, Long Beach
  • April 30, Sunday, 10:24 a.m.; -1.3 feet; Twin Harbors, Copalis, Long Beach
  • May 1, Monday, 11:20 a.m.; -0.8 feet; Long Beach

All diggers age 15 or older must have an applicable 2017-18 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.

State health officials recently requested additional toxin tests at all four beaches after increased amounts of the algae that can cause domoic acid were observed in ocean waters. A natural toxin, domoic acid can be harmful or even fatal if consumed in sufficient quantities.

“The latest round of test results indicate we’re in the clear for digging at all four beaches,” Ayres said.

A decision about possible additional dates in May will be announced following another round of toxin tests next week.

State wildlife managers urge clam diggers to avoid disturbing snowy plovers and streaked horned larks. Both species nest in the soft, dry sand on the southern section of Twin Harbors beach and at Leadbetter Point on the Long Beach Peninsula. The snowy plover is a small bird with gray wings and a white breast. The lark is a small bird with a pale yellow breast and brown back. Male larks have a black mask, breast band and “horns.”

To protect these birds, the department asks that clam diggers avoid the dunes and areas of the beach with soft, dry sand. When driving to a clam-digging area, diggers should enter the beach only at designated access points and stay on the hard-packed sand near or below the high tide line.

More details on how to avoid disturbing nesting birds can be found on the WDFW’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/razorclams/.

………………………………………………

April 25, 2017

Razor clam digs approved April 26 through May 1

Action: Opens Razor clam season

Effective date: 12:01 a.m. April 26 through 11:59 a.m. May 1, 2017

Digging is only allowed from: 12:01 a.m. through 11:59 a.m. each day.

Species affected: Razor clams

The specific low tides for this opener:

April 26, Wednesday, 7: 09 a.m., -1.1 feet; Twin Harbors, Long Beach

April 27, Thursday, 7: 55 a.m., -1.5 feet; Twin Harbors, Mocrocks, Long Beach

April 28, Friday, 8: 42 a.m., -1.8 feet, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Long Beach

April 29, Saturday, 9: 32 a.m., -1.7 feet; Twin Harbors, Mocrocks, Long Beach

April 30, Sunday, 10: 24 a.m., -1.3 feet; Twin Harbors, Copalis, Long Beach

May 1, Monday, 11: 20 a.m., -0.8 feet; Long Beach

Locations:

Copalis Beach, which extends from the Grays Harbor north jetty to the Copalis River, and includes Ocean Shores, Oyhut, Ocean City and Copalis areas.

Long Beach, which extends from the Columbia River to Leadbetter Point.

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.

Twin Harbors Beach, which extends from Cape Shoalwater to the south jetty at the mouth of Grays Harbor.

Reason for action: Harvestable numbers of razor clams are available.

Other Information: The daily limit for razor clams has been increased to 25 clams at Long Beach only and from April 26 to May 1, 2017 only.

Information contact: Dan Ayres (360) 249-4628, Region 6 Montesano

WDFW Scrubs April 24-25 Clam Digs; Decision Next Week On April 26-May 1 Opener

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

State shellfish managers have canceled the first two days (April 24 and 25) of a tentatively planned eight-day razor clam dig due to rising marine toxin levels.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will announce next week whether the rest of the dig, now scheduled to begin April 26, will go forward as planned.

BAD MOJO FOR RAZOR CLAMMERS. (NOAA)

Recent tests have found toxin levels at all ocean beaches meet health standards, but the Washington Department of Health has asked for one more test to be sure, said Dan Ayres, coastal shellfish manager for WDFW.

“In the last few days, we’ve seen increasing levels of the algae that can cause domoic acid in ocean water,” Ayres said. “We just want to make sure razor clams are safe to eat before giving the green light on this dig.”

Domoic acid, a natural toxin produced by certain types of marine algae, can be harmful or even fatal if consumed in sufficient quantities. The toxin has disrupted razor clam digs along Washington’s coast over the past two years.

More information about domoic acid can be found on WDFW’s webpage at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/razorclams/domoic_acid.html.

The department will announce the results of the upcoming toxin test early next week on WDFW’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/razorclams/current.html.

The proposed dig, along with morning low tides and beaches, is listed below:

  • April 26, Wednesday, 7:09 a.m.; -1.1 feet; Twin Harbors, Long Beach
  • April 27, Thursday, 7:55 a.m.; -1.5 feet; Twin Harbors, Mocrocks, Long Beach
  • April 28, Friday, 8:42 a.m.; -1.8 feet, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Long Beach
  • April 29, Saturday, 9:32 a.m.; -1.7 feet; Twin Harbors, Mocrocks, Long Beach
  • April 30, Sunday, 10:24 a.m.; -1.3 feet; Twin Harbors, Copalis, Long Beach
  • May 1, Monday, 11:20 a.m.; -0.8 feet; Long Beach

All diggers age 15 or older must have an applicable 2017-18 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.

Twin Harbors Opening Tomorrow For Start Of 5-day Razor Clam dig

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

State shellfish managers have given the OK for a five-day razor clam dig at Twin Harbors starting April 5, and have tentatively scheduled the beach to open again later this month.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) approved the opening after marine toxin tests showed clams at Twin Harbors are safe to eat.

RAZOR CLAMMING WAS THE SUBJECT OF AN ARTICLE BY BRIAN ROBERTSON IN THE APRIL 2016 ISSUE OF NORTHWEST SPORTSMAN MAGAZINE. (BRIAN ROBERTSON)

Razor clam diggers should be aware that the first four days of the dig are on evening tides, whereas the last day’s dig is on a morning tide, said Dan Ayres, coastal shellfish manager for WDFW.

“We know diggers are looking forward to returning to Twin Harbors and we are happy to announce these new opportunities,” Ayres said.

The first four days of digging are approved on the following dates and evening low tides:

  • April 5, Wednesday, 3:06 p.m.; 0.5 feet; Twin Harbors
  • April 6, Thursday, 4:08 p.m.; 0.4 feet; Twin Harbors
  • April 7, Friday, 5:01 p.m.; 0.4 feet; Twin Harbors
  • April 8, Saturday, 5:46 p.m.; 0.4 feet; Twin Harbors

The fifth day of digging will be conducted on morning tides, as will other digs through the end of the season:

  • April 9, Sunday, 6:25 a.m.; 0.5 feet; Twin Harbors

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.

All diggers age 15 or older must have an applicable 2017-18 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.

State shellfish managers also added Twin Harbors to a tentatively scheduled dig in mid-April that includes openings at Copalis and Mocrocks. The planned opening depends on the results of marine toxin tests, which generally take place about a week before the dig is scheduled.

The proposed razor clam digs, along with morning low tides and beaches, are listed below

  • April 12, Wednesday, 8:08 a.m.; 0.0 feet; Twin Harbors
  • April 13, Thursday, 8:43 a.m.; 0.0 feet; Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • April 14, Friday, 9:18 a.m.; 0.1 feet; Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • April 15, Saturday, 9:55 a.m.; 0.3 feet; Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • April 16, Sunday, 10:36 a.m., 0.5 feet; Twin Harbors, Mocrocks

Long Beach remains closed to digging, Ayres noted. However, the beach could open soon if the next round of toxin testing shows the clams there are safe to eat.

During all upcoming digs, state wildlife managers urge clam diggers to avoid disturbing snowy plovers and streaked horned larks. Both species nest in the soft, dry sand on the southern section of Twin Harbors beach and at Leadbetter Point on the Long Beach Peninsula. The snowy plover is a small bird with gray wings and a white breast. The lark is a small bird with a pale yellow breast and brown back. Male larks have a black mask, breast band and “horns.”

To protect these birds, the department asks that clam diggers avoid the dunes and areas of the beach with soft, dry sand. When driving to a clam-digging area, diggers should enter the beach only at designated access points and stay on the hard-packed sand near or below the high tide line.

More details on how to avoid disturbing nesting birds can be found on the WDFW’s webs