| Clam diggers have got a green light to proceed with an evening razor clam dig February 16 and 17 at four ocean beaches, one of which will remain open for a third night of digging February 18.
Fishery managers gave final approval for the dig after marine toxin tests confirmed the clams at all four beaches are safe to eat.
Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks and Kalaloch will all open for digging February 16 and 17 from noon to midnight each day. Twin Harbors will also be open during the same hours for an additional day, February 18. Copalis Beach will remain closed due to the low number of clams available for harvest, said Dan Ayres, coastal shellfish manager for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). None of the beaches will be open for digging before noon, he said.
The National Park Service scheduled the dig at Kalaloch, which is located within the Olympic National Park, to coincide with those at other beaches. Park Superintendent Bill Laitner strongly recommends carrying a lantern during evening digs – especially at Kalaloch Beach.
“Kalaloch is more remote than other clamming beaches in the state, and people should remember that there are no streetlights or lighted buildings in the area,” Laitner said. “Flashlights or lanterns are a must for all after-dark digs.”
Under state rules, diggers 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.
Ayres recommends hitting the beaches at least an hour before low tide. Evening low tides during the upcoming openings are:
• Friday, February 16 - 5:47 p.m., -0.3 ft., Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks, Kalaloch.
• Saturday, February 17 - 6:28 p.m., -0.5 ft., Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks, Kalaloch.
• Sunday, February 18, 7:08 p.m., -0.3 ft., Twin Harbors only.
A license is required for anyone age 15 or older. Any 2006 annual shellfish/seaweed, razor clam or combination license is still valid. Licenses can be purchased via the internet at https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov, by telephone (1-866-246-9453), or in person at more than 600 license vendors throughout the state. A list of vendors can be found at http://wdfw.wa.gov/lic/vendors/vendors.
Razor clam beaches are defined as follows:
• Long Beach, which extends from the Columbia River to Leadbetter Point.
• Twin Harbors Beach, which extends from the mouth of Willapa Bay north to the mouth of Grays Harbor.
• Copalis Beach, which extends from the Grays Harbor North Jetty to the Copalis River, and includes beaches near Copalis, Ocean Shores, Oyhut and Ocean City.
·• Mocrocks Beach, which extends from the Copalis River to the southern boundary of the Quinault Reservation near the Moclips River, including Iron Springs, Roosevelt Beach, Pacific Beach and Moclips.
• Kalaloch Beach, which extends from the South Beach Campground to Brown’s Point (just south of Beach Trail 3) in the Olympic National Park.
The Wahkiakum County Eagle, 77 Main Street, Cathlamet, WA 98612
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