Abundant razor clams provide 'digging while distancing' opportunities
September 17, 2020
Shellfish managers have scheduled 39 razor clam digs on ocean beaches for dates through December. State shellfish managers have also approved the first four days of razor clam digging starting Sept. 16 after marine toxin tests showed the clams are safe to eat.
Final approval of tentatively scheduled openings depends on results of marine toxin tests. Digging is also contingent upon continued guidance by public health officials monitoring COVID-19 in coastal communities.
Health agencies are asking people to:
· Stay home if sick,
· Practice social distancing of at least six feet,
· Mask up,
· Bring Personal Protective Equipment like hand sanitizer,
· Leave no Trace: Pack out belongings and garbage,
· Purchase licenses ahead of the trip,
· Bring non-cash payment methods to reduce contact, and
Follow local ordinances and guidelines.
The approved razor clam digs to date, along with low tides and beaches, are listed below:
· Sept. 16, Wednesday, 6:17 am, -1.0 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis,
· Sept. 17, Thursday, 6:58 am, -1.0 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks,
· Sept. 18, Friday, 7:39 am, -0.8 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis,
· Sept. 19, Saturday, 8:19 am, -0.3 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks.
No digging is allowed after noon for digs where low tide occurs in the morning. The tentative razor clam through December, along with low tides and beaches, are listed below:
· Sept. 20, Sunday, 9:43 pm, -0.8 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis,
· Sept. 21, Monday, 10:37 pm, -0.8 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks,
· Sept. 22, Tuesday, 11:37 pm, -0.3 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis.
No digging is allowed before noon during digs when low tide occurs in the afternoon or evening.
The schedule through December can be found on WDFW’s razor clam webpage at https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfishing-regulations/razor-clams.
Public health officials will be closely monitoring new COVID-19 infection rates throughout the digging season and adjustments to the schedule may be made to reduce public health risk in-season.
All diggers age 15 or older must have an applicable fishing license to harvest razor clams on any beach.
Licenses, ranging from a three-day razor clam license (starting at $9.70) to an annual combination fishing license, are available on WDFW's website at https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov and from some 600 license vendors around the state. WDFW recommends buying your license before visiting coastal beach communities for this razor clam season.
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.
More information can be found on WDFW's razor clam webpage at https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfishing-regulations/razor-clams.