The random, Peninsula-wide surveys revealed a bounty of big, healthy clams, with improved overall distribution, from Benson Beach to Oysterville

Random, Peninsula-wide surveys revealed a bounty of big, healthy clams, with improved overall distribution, from Benson Beach to Oysterville.

LONG BEACH and OCEAN PARK — Razor clam diggers can return to Long Beach-Ocean Park for a three-day opening beginning Sept. 27.

State shellfish managers with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife approved the dig on morning low tides after marine toxin tests showed the clams are safe to eat.

A clam sample gathered Sept. 17 on the Peninsula was found to have 2 parts per million domoic acid, while a sample collected a day earlier in the Twin Harbors area between Willapa Bay and Westport totaled 1 ppm. Clams are considered safe to eat so long as levels stay below 20 ppm.

Levels of Pseudo-nitzschia — the marine diatom that sometimes produces domoic acid — are currently so low in Washington coast seawater that the Washington Department of Health only required the Sept. 17 clam sample before approving the season opener, WDFW Coastal Shellfish Manager Dan Ayres said.

The upcoming dig is for the following dates and morning low tides:

Sept. 27, Friday, 5:52 a.m. -0.9, Long Beach Peninsula only

Sept. 28, Saturday, 6:36 a.m. -0.8, Long Beach Peninsula only

Sept. 29, Sunday, 7:19 am -0.6, Long Beach Peninsula only

No digging is allowed after noon for these late September digs where low tide occurs in the morning.

“We know people have been looking forward to digging razor clams, and based on our surveys, we expect some great digging on Long Beach,” said Dan Ayres, WDFW coastal shellfish manager.

There will be terrific razor clam digging on the other coastal beaches in the months ahead as well, added Ayres. Final approval of the tentatively scheduled openings in October, November and December will depend on whether results of marine toxin tests show the clams are safe to eat. The next set of dates are Oct. 26 through Nov. 1, with a switch to evening tides.

All diggers age 15 or older must have an applicable 2019-20 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. Each digger’s clams must be kept in a separate container.

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