Razor clam harvest remains strong

More than 900,000 dug during last nine-day dig

Participation and harvest were both down during the second nine-day razor clam opener from Oct. 3-11, but thousands of diggers still took more than 900,000 clams.

Long Beach, open all nine days, was the champion beach once again, with 19,512 diggers taking 351,172 clams during the tide series. That averages out to 18 clams per digger, two below the 20-clam limit, according to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife surveys.

Effort was down by about 2,500 diggers from the Sept. 17-25 tide series, when 22,044 diggers took 428,861 clams, averaging just under a limit apiece.

Twin Harbors, also open all nine days, actually had more clam diggers during the Oct. 3-11 tide series, 14,915, than it did during the opening nine days, 14,226, and more clams were dug, 265,289, than the opening tide series’ 263,377. Success was down a bit, though, with 17.8 clams averaged per digger, compared with 18.5 during the first series.

Moving on to the beaches open alternating days, Copalis and Mocrocks, effort was down substantially at Copalis, which was open five days and attracted 7,466 participants during the Oct. 3-11 dig, down from 10,193 from the Sept. 17-25 tide series. Diggers averaged just under 16 clams per dig, down from 19 the previous dig.

At Mocrocks, effort was down by about 500 during the last round of digs, with 8,749 taking 165,037 clams. The average take was quite a bit better, however, with 18.9 clams averaged by diggers compared with 17.4 during the first tide series.

So at the end of the dig, 50,642 diggers took 900,313 clams during the Oct. 3-11 tide series.

The latest dig started Tuesday and continues through Oct. 25. Effort might be down a little more because of wet windy weather expected to move into the region later in the week, and the low tides won’t drop much below zero feet during the seven-day dig.

Add to that the late digs: by the end of the weekend and into Monday, tides are later and later, ending with a plus .5-foot tide at 10:25 p.m. Monday, Oct. 25, at Long Beach, Twin Harbors and Copalis.