Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091

April 6, 2009

Contact: Dan Ayres, (360) 249-4628

Razor clam dig approved for Twin Harbors, Long Beach

OLYMPIA - Clam diggers have received the go-ahead to proceed with a razor-clam dig starting Friday, April 10 after a series of marine toxin tests showed the clams were safe to eat.

Three morning digs are scheduled April 10-12 at Twin Harbors, while Long Beach will open April 11-12 only. Digging on all beaches must be completed by noon.

The schedule does not include any days for Mocrocks or Copalis due to the number of clams available for the state-managed recreational harvest on these beaches, said Dan Ayres, coastal shellfish manager for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

"We want to make sure there are enough clams for an opener tentatively scheduled at all four beaches later this month, when there will be even better tides," Ayres said.

To participate in the upcoming dig, anglers must have an applicable 2009-10 fishing license, since April 1 marked the beginning of a new license year, Ayres said. A license is required for anyone age 15 or older. Anglers can buy a combination license or an annual shellfish/seaweed license. Also available are razor-clam only licenses in annual or three-day only versions.

"We strongly advise diggers to make their purchases before heading to the beach," Ayres said. "Morning digs are very popular, and no one wants to be standing in line to buy a license at low tide."

Descriptions of the various licensing options are available on the WDFW website at fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov. A list of state license vendors is available at http://wdfw.wa.gov/lic/vendors/vendors.htm .

Harvesters are allowed to take no more than 15 razor clams and must keep the first 15 they dig, regardless of size or condition. Each digger's clams must be kept in a separate container.

Kalaloch Beach in Olympic National Park will remain closed because the clams there have not grown to harvestable size.

Ayres said more digs will likely be announced following the opener tentatively scheduled for late April. "There?s a good chance we?ll have enough clams to offer additional digging opportunities on some beaches in May," he said.

Scheduled April 10-12 digs:

Friday, April 10 (7:45 a.m., -0.7 ft.) Twin Harbors
Saturday, April 11 (8:25 a.m., -0.7 ft.) Long Beach, Twin Harbors
Sunday, April 12 (9:05 a.m., -0.5 ft.) Long Beach, Twin Harbors
Twin Harbors extends from the mouth of Willapa Bay north to the south jetty at the mouth of Grays Harbor. Long Beach extends from the Columbia River to Leadbetter Point.

Tentatively scheduled digs for late April:

Saturday, April 25 (7:27 a.m., -1.3 ft.) Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks
Sunday, April 26 (8:10 a.m., -1.6 ft.) Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks
Monday, April 27 (8:55 a.m., -1.7 ft.) Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks