Tapping for clams

A clammer tapped the sand with their shovel to coax a clam to 'show' on Feb. 9 in Seaview. Clamming reopens this weekend in the midst of a pandemic, prompting questions.

LONG BEACH — Responding to criticisms from residents that continuing razor clam seasons may expose the rural population to infected visitors, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife issued this statement on March 18:

"WDFW recognizes that we are facing extraordinary times and urges all Washington citizens to take extra precautions to keep yourself, your family and the entire community of Washington healthy. Razor clam digs typically bring visitors from throughout Washington. We recognize that travel at this time should be done with great deliberation for your health, and the health of the receiving community.

"In the course of considering this dig, we consulted with county health officials in both Grays Harbor and Pacific counties. We also consulted with the Washington Department of Health and the governor’s office to determine if this clam opener should proceed. Based on the determinations of local and state government, we will continue to offer this outdoor activity.

"In offering this activity, we ask that you to follow WDOH guidelines. In particular:

"Do not travel if you are sick, someone in your household is sick or you have conditions that put you at higher risk.

"Symptoms or not, please also practice good personal hygiene and maintain “social distancing” of at least six feet while on the beach.

"In addition, please recognize that these small towns need the grocery stores to remain stocked for local residents. So please be judicious in purchasing what is needed for your time at the beach. Restaurants and bars are closed at this time, so please make sure you have brought the provisions you will need to enjoy your day."

Updates on WDFW's coronavirus-related responses are available at wdfw.wa.gov/about/covid-19-updates.

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