OLYMPIA — The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has announced a tentative schedule for the fall razor clam season set to begin in early October, but with only one open day on the Long Beach Peninsula on Dec. 22.
Lack of clamming will have major economic consequences for south Pacific County communities, which are heavily reliant on clam digs to bring visitor traffic in the fall and winter months.
Digging opportunities will be considerably better in the Twin Harbors area that encompasses the beach from the mouth of Willapa Bay in north Pacific County to Westport in Grays Harbor County.
Final approval of all scheduled openings will depend on results of marine toxin tests, which are usually conducted about a week before a dig is scheduled to begin.
“We’re releasing a tentative schedule to give people plenty of time to make plans to go digging this fall,” said Dan Ayres, coastal shellfish manager for WDFW.
State shellfish managers are also seeking public input on management options, including scheduling for spring digs. Comments on the spring digs can be sent via email to email@example.com.
A summary of last season and an overview of the recently completed razor clam stock assessment is available via WDFW’s 2018-19 Razor Clam Management Plan at wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/razorclams/seasons_set.html.
Based on beach surveys conducted this summer, WDFW estimates the total razor clam population on most Washington’s beaches has increased significantly from last season, which means more days of digging this season. The exception is Long Beach, an area that is recovering after a decline in clam survival due to low salinity in winter 2017.
“The good news is that future digging opportunities look really great, with some opportunity even at Long Beach,” Ayres said. “This is shaping up to be a great season for digging on the coast.”
Proposed razor clam digs through December are listed below, along with evening low tides and beaches:
• Oct. 11, Thursday, 8:58 p.m.; -0.6 feet; Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
• Oct. 12, Friday, 9:41 p.m.; -0.3 feet; Twin Harbors, Copalis
• Oct. 13, Saturday, 10:26 p.m.; +0.1 feet; Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
• Oct. 25, Thursday, 7:55 p.m.; -0.5 feet; Twin Harbors, Copalis
• Oct. 26, Friday, 8:36 p.m.; -0.7 feet; Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
• Oct. 27, Saturday, 9:19 p.m.; -0.7 feet; Twin Harbors, Copalis
• Oct. 28, Sunday, 10:08 p.m.; -0.6 feet; Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
• Nov. 8, Thursday, 6:57 p.m.; -0.8 feet; Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
• Nov. 9, Friday, 7:36 p.m.; -0.7 feet; Twin Harbors, Copalis
• Nov. 10, Saturday, 8:15 p.m.; -0.4 feet; Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
• Nov. 11, Sunday, 8:56 p.m.; 0.0 feet; Twin Harbors, Copalis
• Nov. 22, Thursday, 5:55 p.m.; -0.7 feet; Twin Harbors, Copalis
• Nov. 23, Friday, 6:36 p.m.; -1.1 feet; Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
• Nov. 24, Saturday, 7:20 p.m.; -1.3 feet; Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks
• Nov. 25, Sunday, 8:05 p.m.; -1.3 feet; Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
• Dec. 6, Thursday, 6:01 p.m.; -0.7 feet; Twin Harbors, Copalis
• Dec. 7, Friday, 6:40 p.m.; -0.7 feet; Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
• Dec. 8, Saturday, 7:16 p.m.; -0.6 feet; Twin Harbors, Copalis
• Dec. 9, Sunday, 7:53 p.m.; -0.4 feet; Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
• Dec. 20, Thursday, 4:51 p.m.; -0.3 feet; Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
• Dec. 21, Friday, 5:35 p.m.; -1.0 feet; Twin Harbors, Copalis
• Dec. 22, Saturday, 6:20 p.m.; -1.4 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
• Dec. 23, Sunday, 7:05 p.m.; -1.6 feet; Twin Harbors, Copalis
WDFW is working with staff at Olympic National Park to assess possible digging dates on Kalaloch beach, said Ayres.
For more information about recreational razor clamming, visit WDFW’s website at wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/razorclams/.