State outlines tentative clam dig schedule through February

Waiting for word on New Year’s weekend digging

The state department of Fish & Wildlife has a conditional plan for evening razor clam digs through February on beaches at Copalis, Mocrocks and Kalaloch.

Meantime, word is expected next week as to whether a New Year’s Eve weekend dig will go forward.

Final approval of all scheduled openings at beaches in will depend on whether results of marine toxin tests show the clams are safe to eat. The department usually announces whether a dig will go forward about a week before the opening, said Dan Ayres, coastal shellfish manager for the department.

“We know people are anxious to make plans to go razor clamming in 2017,” Ayres said. “We’ve planned openings for 19 days in January and February, but we can’t give final approval until tests show we can open those beaches to digging.”

WDFW will announce next week whether a previously announced two-day opening at Copalis and Mocrocks can proceed. The proposed dig is scheduled for Dec. 30 and 31 at both beaches. More information can be found on the department’s webpage.

Both Twin Harbors and Long Beach remain closed to razor clam digging.

For the first time since 2012, Kalaloch Beach is tentatively scheduled to open – on Jan. 8 and 9 – for digging. Located inside Olympic National Park, the beach hasn’t been open the last few years for razor clam digging due a low abundance of clams. WDFW and park officials say the population is robust enough for digs in 2017. Additional digs at Kalaloch will be announced in the coming months.

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

Jan. 8, Sunday, 3:11 p.m.; 0.4 feet; Kalaloch

Jan. 9, Monday, 4:08 p.m.; -0.4 feet; Kalaloch

Jan. 13, Friday, 7:17 p.m.; -1.4 feet; Copalis, Mocrocks

Jan. 14, Saturday, 7:59 p.m.; -1.0 feet; Copalis, Mocrocks

Jan. 15, Sunday, 8:40 p.m.; -0.4 feet; Copalis, Mocrocks

Jan. 27, Friday, 6:26 p.m.; -0.5 feet; Copalis

Jan. 28, Saturday, 7:01 p.m.; -0.6 feet; Copalis

Jan. 29, Sunday, 7:37 p.m.; -0.5 feet; Copalis, Mocrocks

Jan. 30, Monday, 8:13 p.m.; -0.3 feet; Copalis, Mocrocks

Jan. 31, Tuesday, 8:50 p.m.; 0.2 feet; Copalis, Mocrocks

Feb. 7, Tuesday, 3:53 p.m.; -0.1 feet; Copalis, Mocrocks

Feb. 8, Wednesday, 4:46 p.m.; -0.6 feet; Copalis, Mocrocks

Feb. 9, Thursday, 5:33 p.m.; -0.9 feet; Copalis, Mocrocks

Feb. 10, Friday, 6:16 p.m.; -1.0 feet; Mocrocks

Feb. 11, Saturday, 6:57 p.m.; -0.8 feet; Mocrocks

Feb. 12, Sunday, 7:34 p.m.; -0.5 feet; Mocrocks

Feb. 24, Friday, 5:21 p.m.; -0.1 feet; Copalis, Mocrocks

Feb. 25, Saturday, 5:58 p.m.; -0.3 feet; Copalis, Mocrocks

Feb. 26, Sunday, 6:34 p.m.; -0.4 feet; Copalis, Mocrocks

Elevated levels of domoic acid, a natural toxin produced by certain types of algae, have disrupted razor clam digs on Washington’s ocean beaches over the past 18 months. Razor clams at both Twin Harbors and Long Beach exceed public health standards for marine toxins. For that reason, neither beach will open for the remainder of 2016, Ayres said.

“We’re continuing to monitor domoic acid levels at all our ocean beaches,” Ayres said. “As soon as testing indicates the clams at Long Beach or Twin Harbors are safe to eat, we’ll announce digs there.”