The Department of Fish and Wildlife has announced a tentative schedule for the fall razor clam season set to begin in early October.
Final approval of all scheduled openings will depend on results of marine toxin tests, which are usually conducted about a week before a dig is scheduled to begin.
“We’re releasing a tentative schedule to give people plenty of time to make plans to go digging this fall,” said coastal shellfish manager Dan Ayres.
Proposed razor clam digs through December are:
· Oct. 6, Friday, 7:49 p.m.; -0.4 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks
· Oct. 7, Saturday, 8:33 p.m.; -0.7 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks
· Nov. 2, Thursday, 6:03 p.m.; 0.1 feet; Copalis
· Nov. 3, Friday, 6:47 p.m.; -0.7 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
· Nov. 4, Saturday, 7:31 p.m.; -1.2 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
· Nov. 5, Sunday, 7:16 p.m.; -1.4 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
· Dec. 1, Friday, 4:42 p.m.; -0.3 feet; Copalis
· Dec. 2, Saturday, 6:49 p.m.; -1.9 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
· Dec. 31, Sunday, 5:12 p.m.; -1.2 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks
State shellfish managers are also seeking public input on management options, including scheduling for spring digs. Comments on the spring digs can be sent via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Based on beach surveys conducted this summer, Ayres estimates the total razor clam population on Washington’s beaches has decreased significantly from last season, which means fewer days of digging this season. Ayres said the decline in clam populations was likely caused, at least in part, by an extended period of low salinity in surf zone ocean waters, particularly those near Long Beach and Twin Harbors.
“The total number of clams may be down this year, but we still expect good digging on most beaches,” Ayres said.
A summary of last season and an overview of the recently completed razor clam stock assessment are available in the state’s 2017-18 Razor Clam Management Plan at wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/razorclams/seasons_set.html.
For more information about recreational razor clamming, go to wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/razorclams.