OLYMPIA – State shellfish managers have given the OK for a five-day razor clam dig at Twin Harbors starting April 5, and have tentatively scheduled the beach to open again later this month.
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) approved the opening after marine toxin tests showed clams at Twin Harbors are safe to eat.
Razor clam diggers should be aware that the first four days of the dig are on evening tides, whereas the last day’s dig is on a morning tide, said Dan Ayres, coastal shellfish manager for WDFW.
“We know diggers are looking forward to returning to Twin Harbors and we are happy to announce these new opportunities,” Ayres said.
The first four days of digging are approved on the following dates and evening low tides:
- April 5, Wednesday, 3:06 p.m.; 0.5 feet; Twin Harbors
- April 6, Thursday, 4:08 p.m.; 0.4 feet; Twin Harbors
- April 7, Friday, 5:01 p.m.; 0.4 feet; Twin Harbors
- April 8, Saturday, 5:46 p.m.; 0.4 feet; Twin Harbors
The fifth day of digging will be conducted on morning tides, as will other digs through the end of the season:
- April 9, Sunday, 6:25 a.m.; 0.5 feet; Twin Harbors
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 2017-18 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.
State shellfish managers also added Twin Harbors to a tentatively scheduled dig in mid-April that includes openings at Copalis and Mocrocks. The planned opening depends on the results of marine toxin tests, which generally take place about a week before the dig is scheduled.
The proposed razor clam digs, along with morning low tides and beaches, are listed below:
- April 12, Wednesday, 8:08 a.m.; 0.0 feet; Twin Harbors
- April 13, Thursday, 8:43 a.m.; 0.0 feet; Twin Harbors, Copalis
- April 14, Friday, 9:18 a.m.; 0.1 feet; Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
- April 15, Saturday, 9:55 a.m.; 0.3 feet; Twin Harbors, Copalis
- April 16, Sunday, 10:36 a.m., 0.5 feet; Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
Long Beach remains closed to digging, Ayres noted. However, the beach could open soon if the next round of toxin testing shows the clams there are safe to eat.
During all upcoming digs, state wildlife managers urge clam diggers to avoid disturbing snowy plovers and streaked horned larks. Both species nest in the soft, dry sand on the southern section of Twin Harbors beach and at Leadbetter Point on the Long Beach Peninsula. The snowy plover is a small bird with gray wings and a white breast. The lark is a small bird with a pale yellow breast and brown back. Male larks have a black mask, breast band and “horns.”
To protect these birds, the department asks that clam diggers avoid the dunes and areas of the beach with soft, dry sand. When driving to a clam-digging area, diggers should enter the beach only at designated access points and stay on the hard-packed sand near or below the high tide line.
More details on how to avoid disturbing nesting birds can be found on the WDFW’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/