OLYMPIA — Long Beach Peninsula razor clam fans will finally get a shot at harvesting one of the Pacific Northwest’s great delicacies this Saturday.
The next round of evening razor-clam digs is set to begin Thursday, Dec. 20, just in time to take home some clams for the winter holidays. Long Beach/Ocean Park beaches will only be open on Dec. 22.
State shellfish managers with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife approved the dig on evening low tides after marine toxin tests showed the clams are safe to eat. No digging will be allowed on any beach before noon.
Dan Ayres, WDFW coastal shellfish manager, recommends that diggers hit the beach about an hour or two before low tide for the best results.
“We are opening Long Beach to give visitors a chance at some clams for the holidays, but diggers should expect some smaller clams in their catch,” Ayres said.
The Long Beach/Ocean park area has been closed for much of the season to give the high number of juvenile razor clams a chance to grow. After Dec. 22, there should be about four more digging days on the Peninsula for the remainder of the season through April, based on the total allowable catch set by WDFW this fall. None are scheduled in January.
Twin Harbors, the beach in north Pacific and south Grays Harbor counties, continues to have abundant digging opportunities.
The upcoming dig is approved on the following beaches, dates, and evening low tides:
• 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.
Diggers want to be sure to come prepared with good lighting devices and always keep an eye on the surf, particularly at this time of year when the best low tides come after dark, he added.
WDFW is also announcing tentative digs through February, beginning with a proposed five-day dig starting Jan. 2. Proposed razor clam digs are listed below, along with evening low tides and beaches:
• Jan. 2, Wednesday; 4:22 p.m.; 0.2 feet; Twin Harbors
• Jan. 3, Thursday; 5:06 p.m.; -0.2 feet; Twin Harbors
• Jan. 4, Friday; 5:46 p.m.; -0.4 feet; Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
• Jan. 5, Saturday; 6:23 p.m.; -0.4 feet; Twin Harbors, Copalis
• Jan. 6, Sunday; 6:59 p.m.; -0.4 feet; Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
For a complete list of proposed digs, please visit WDFW’s recreational razor clam website at https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/razorclams/.
All diggers age 15 or older must have an applicable 2018-19 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.
Under state law, diggers at open beaches can take 15 razor clams per day and are required to keep the first 15 they dig, regardless of size or condition. Each digger’s clams must be kept in a separate container.