LONG BEACH — With a 2019-20 harvest quota of 5.2 million razor clams, there was little chance that diggers between south Pacific County’s Benson Beach and Leadbetter Point would run out of allocation. Rough winter surf and sopping-wet weather mean the remaining months of clam season have about three-quarters of that quota still available.
There were eight sets of south Pacific County clam digs between last September and this January. The first three were well attended and nearly all diggers harvested their full daily limit of 15 clams, according to estimates by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Between Sept. 27 and Nov. 30, WDFW figures 840,000 clams were harvested here. But with the onset of darker evenings and worse weather, between Dec. 10 and Jan. 26, the harvest total was only about 177,000, with average daily total per person of around 11 clams.
The season total through Jan. 26 was about 1,017,000 — less than one-fifth of the season quota, and leaving more than 4 million clams available between now and the end of the season.
The peninsula harvest is by far the highest on the four clam beaches of Washington’s outer coast. The harvest through Jan. 26 in the Twin Harbors area — between the mouth of Willapa Bay to just south of Westport — was 424,000 clams, or 23% of that beach’s season quota. Copalis Beach harvesters dug an estimated 447,000 clams, or 22% of their quota. Mocrocks — the northernmost recreational clam beach before the Quinault Indian Reservation — was at 296,000 clams as of Jan. 26, or 17.9% of quota.