OLYMPIA – Twin Harbors beach will be open March 7 for a week of razor clam digging, during which Copalis and Mocrocks beaches will each be open for two of those days.
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) approved the opening on three ocean beaches after marine toxin tests confirmed the clams on those beaches are safe to eat.
Twin Harbors is among the beaches open for this dig although it wasn’t previously on the schedule, said Dan Ayres, WDFW’s coastal shellfish manager. The department also added extra days for digging at Twin Harbors.
“Toxin levels at Twin Harbors are consistently meeting state public health standards, allowing us to add the beach to this dig,” Ayres said. “We’ll likely announce additional tentative dates for Twin Harbors in the near future.”
Unfortunately, Ayres noted, toxin levels increased again at Long Beach, which will remain closed for this dig.
Kalaloch beach also will be closed during this dig. The department was unable to collect enough clams for a toxin sample and has canceled the dig at Kalaloch. WDFW plans to conduct an abundance survey at the next opportunity to determine whether there are sufficient clams at Kalaloch to proceed with digs tentatively scheduled later this month and in April, Ayres said.
“We’re not sure what’s happening with clams at Kalaloch,” Ayres said. “There were plenty of clams on the beach when we surveyed before the season began. However, we’ve seen a decline in clam numbers since then.”
The upcoming dig is approved on the following beaches, dates and evening low tides:
March 7, Tuesday, 2:33 p.m.; 0.5 feet; Twin Harbors
March 8, Wednesday, 3:35 p.m.; 0.1 feet; Twin Harbors
March 9, Thursday, 4:28 p.m.; -0.1 feet; Mocrocks, Twin Harbors
March 10, Friday, 5:13 p.m.; -0.3 feet; Copalis, Twin Harbors
March 11, Saturday, 5:54 p.m.; -0.3 feet; Mocrocks, Twin Harbors
March 12, Sunday, 7:31 p.m.; -0.1 feet; Copalis, Twin Harbors
March 13, Monday, 8:06 p.m.; 0.3 feet; Twin Harbors
State shellfish managers recommend that diggers hit the beach an hour or two before low tide. Digging is not allowed on any beach before noon.
Razor clam diggers should be aware that Mocrocks and Copalis won’t be open on the same days, Ayres said. Shellfish managers have been alternating open dates between the two beaches to maximize the number of days available this season.
WDFW has added new maps of Mocrocks and Copalis to help diggers distinguish between the two beaches. Those maps can be found on WDFW’s razor clam webpage at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/razorclams/current.html. Copalis beach includes Ocean Shores, Oyhut, Ocean City and Copalis areas while Mocrocks includes Iron Springs, Roosevelt Beach, Seabrook, Pacific Beach and Moclips.
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.