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March tentative coastal razor clam digs at Mocrocks and Copalis beaches announced

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) shellfish managers have tentatively scheduled additional razor clam digging dates at Mocrocks and Copalis beaches in March.

"After reopening harvest on Copalis and Mocrocks since late January, we are delighted to announce tentative digs at both beaches for the remainder of March," said Bryce Blumenthal, WDFW coastal shellfish biologist. "Marine toxin levels on Long Beach and Twin Harbors are still too high for reopening, but we're hopeful that digging will return to one or both of those beaches before April."

Final approval of remaining tentative openings in March is dependent on marine toxin test results.

The following tentative digs during evening (p.m.) low tides are scheduled:

March 17, Friday, 4:10 PM; 0.0 feet; Copalis

(Ocean Shores Razor Clam and Seafood Festival);

March 18, Saturday, 5:06 PM; -0.5 feet; Mocrocks (Ocean Shores Razor Clam and Seafood Festival);

March 19, Sunday, 5:54 PM; -0.7 feet; Copalis;

(Ocean Shores Razor Clam and Seafood Festival)

March 20, Monday, 6:38 PM; -0.7 feet; Mocrocks;

March 21, Tuesday, 7:18 PM; -0.5 feet; Copalis;

March 22, Wednesday, 7:56 PM; 0.0 feet; Mocrocks.

The following tentative digs during morning (a.m.) low tides are scheduled:

March 23, Thursday, 8:29 AM; -0.3 feet; Copalis;

March 24, Friday, 9:13 AM; -0.4 feet; Mocrocks;

March 25, Saturday, 9:57 AM; -0.2 feet; Copalis;

March 26, Sunday, 10:44 AM; 0.2 feet; Mocrocks;

The Washington Department of Health (WDOH) labs indicate domoic acid levels at Long Beach and Twin Harbors beaches remain slightly above the health guideline levels. WDFW will announce future digging opportunities on those beaches when marine toxin tests show it is safe to do so.

Domoic acid, a natural toxin produced by certain types of marine algae, can be harmful or fatal if consumed in sufficient quantities. WDFW shellfish staff will continue to regularly dig test samples of razor clams to monitor the situation. WDOH requires two test samples taken around seven days apart, must fall under the health guideline level before a beach can reopen for razor clam digging. More information about domoic acid, as well as current levels at ocean beaches, can be found on WDFW's domoic acid webpage.

The daily limit is 15 razor clams per person. Under state law, a daily limit consists of the first 15 clams dug regardless of size or condition, and each digger's clams must be kept in a separate container. Digging is prohibited in the razor clam reserve located just south of the Ocean City approach on Copalis, which are marked by 10-foot poles with signs. The most successful digging occurs between one and two hours before the listed time of low tide.

Shellfish and seafood enthusiasts can also start making plans to attend the Ocean Shores Razor Clam and Seafood Festival on March 17-19, and the Long Beach Razor Clam Festival on April 8-9. These two long-running events celebrate the unique contribution of razor clams to Washington's culture and coastal communities.

With the spring fast approaching, Washingtonians should consider purchasing 2023-2024 recreational hunting and fishing licenses, from the hundreds of license vendors around the state. WDFW recommends buying your license before current licenses expire after March 31. All diggers age 15 or older must have an applicable fishing license to harvest razor clams on any beach.

For additional details, go to the WDFW's razor clam webpage and the DOH webpage. To be notified of in-season rule changes as they are announced sign up for email notifications at wdfw.wa.gov/about/lists.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife works to preserve, protect, and perpetuate fish, wildlife and ecosystems while providing sustainable fish and wildlife recreational and commercial opportunities.

 

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