OLYMPIA — Razor clam diggers may be able to return to Long Beach for a three-day opening beginning Sept. 27, pending favorable marine toxin results later this month.
The upcoming dig is proposed for the following dates and morning low tides:
• Sept. 27, Friday, 5:52 a.m. -0.9, Long Beach only
• Sept. 28, Saturday, 6:36 a.m. -0.8, Long Beach only
• Sept. 29, Sunday, 7:19 a.m. -0.6, Long Beach only
Digging must be completed by noon.
Final approval of the scheduled opening will depend on whether results of marine toxin tests show the clams are safe to eat.
The reported development offshore of a blob of abnormally warm seawater has sparked citizen concerns that the microorganism responsible for sometimes producing domoic toxin could “switch on.” There is, however, no indication at this point that the domoic-producing species are proliferating.
Earlier this month WDFW lead technician Clayton Parson said, “We’re looking forward to the harvest; hopefully we don’t have any toxin problems. That’s all we’re worried about at this point. The people who monitor the [domoic-producing] plankton in the surf say everything looks good right now.”
Diggers looking ahead
“We know people have been looking forward to digging razor clams at Long Beach, and we’re pleased to say we believe based on our surveys that the beach is going to enter the line-up more frequently this fall and winter,” said Dan Ayres, WDFW coastal shellfish manager.
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.
“There will be some terrific razor clam digging in the months ahead,” Ayres said. He and his crew completed the final clam population survey of the summer on Friday, Aug. 30 in Ocean Park.
WDFW is currently assessing additional digs for Twin Harbors, Copalis and Mocrocks in October, but has not yet finished those assessments, nor set dates.
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.