OLYMPIA – Shellfish managers have given the OK for two days of razor clam digging at Copalis and Mocrocks beaches beginning Saturday.
The state Department of Fish and Wildlife approved the opening on the two beaches after marine toxin tests confirmed the clams on those beaches are safe to eat. No digging is allowed at any beach before noon.
Low tides on both days of the opening take place in the afternoon, making it possible for diggers to harvest clams in the daylight for a change, said Dan Ayres, the state’s coastal shellfish manager.
“This opening is also the last chance diggers will have to fill their buckets before the Christmas holiday,” Ayres said.
The upcoming dig is approved on the following beaches, dates and evening low tides:
• Dec. 10, Saturday, 3:28 p.m.; 0.5 feet; Copalis, Mocrocks
• Dec. 11, Sunday, 4:21 p.m.; -0.5 feet; Copalis, Mocrocks
Both Long Beach and Twin Harbors are closed to razor clam digging due to elevated levels of domoic acid. A natural toxin produced by certain types of algae, domoic acid can be harmful or even fatal if consumed in sufficient quantities.
“It’s disappointing that we aren’t able to open Long Beach or Twin Harbors,” Ayres said. “We’ll continue to monitor toxin levels at all ocean beaches and hope to offer more digging opportunities in the future.”
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 2016-17 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.
More information about razor clams can be found on WDFW’s webpage at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/razorclams/