LONG BEACH, Wash. - The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has announced that three ocean beaches will open this week for a razor-clam dig that could be the last dig of the season.
Morning digs are set on two beaches, Long Beach and Twin Harbors, for six straight days, Tuesday through Sunday. Mocrocks Beach, which extends north from the Copalis River to the southern boundary of the Quinault Indian Reservation, will also be open for razor-clam digging Saturday and Sunday. No digging will be allowed on any of those beaches after noon.
The WDFW approved the dig after marine toxin tests showed that the clams on all three beaches are safe to eat. Under state rules, harvesters may take no more than 15 razor clams and must keep the first 15 taken, regardless of size or condition. Each digger's limit must be kept in a separate container.
Dan Ayres, WDFW coastal shellfish coordinator, said clam diggers have taken most of the razor clams available for harvest this season on Washington's ocean beaches. Two beaches, Copalis and Kalaloch, are closed for the season, said Ayres, noting that the April dig brought Copalis Beach up to 98.8 percent of the state's harvest quota. "What remains isn't enough for even one more day of digging," he said.
Copalis Beach, now closed until fall, lies south of the Copalis River and includes Ocean Shores, Oyhut and Ocean City. Ayres cautions diggers to observe the boundary between that area and Mocrocks Beach, which will open Saturday and Sunday north of the Copalis River. The area opening to digging at Mocrocks includes Iron Springs, Roosevelt Beach, Pacific Beach and Moclips.
Ayres also reminds diggers to avoid signed upland beach areas at Long Beach and Twin Harbors, which are closed to protect nesting western snowy plovers. At Long Beach, the closed areas are located north of the Oysterville Road from the state park boundary north to Leadbetter Point. At Twin Harbors, the closed areas are located from just south of Midway Beach Road to the first beach-access trail at Grayland Beach State Park.
The dates and morning low tides for the upcoming dig are:
Tuesday: 7:29 a.m., -0.6 ft; Long Beach, Twin Harbors.
Wednesday: 8:04 a.m., -0.8 ft; Long Beach, Twin Harbors.
Thursday: 8:40 a.m., -0.8 ft; Long Beach, Twin Harbors.
Friday: 9:18 a.m., -0.8 ft; Long Beach, Twin Harbors.
Saturday: 10:00 a.m., -0.6 ft; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks.
Sunday: 10:46 a.m., -0.4 ft; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks.
To participate in the upcoming dig, everyone age 15 or older must carry a valid 2011-12 license, since all 2010-11 state fishing licenses expired March 31. Various licenses, ranging from a three-day razor-clam license to a multi-species combination license, are avaiIable online at https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov, by phone at (866) 246-9453 and from sporting goods stores and other retail license dealers around the state.