OLYMPIA - Fishery managers have approved a morning razor clam dig at several ocean beaches April 7-9 after marine toxin tests confirmed that the clams on those beaches are safe to eat.
Three beaches - Long Beach, Twin Harbors and Kalaloch - will be open for morning razor clam digging all three days. Mocrocks will be open for two days, April 7-8, and Copalis will be open April 7 for one day only.
No digging will be allowed any day after noon at any of those beaches.
Most diggers will need a valid 2012-13 fishing license to participate in the upcoming opening, since all 2011-12 licenses expire at the end of the day March 31. The exception is young people under age 15, who may fish for free.
"We strongly advise diggers to obtain a new license before they leave home," said Dan Ayres, coastal shellfish manager for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). "It can be very frustrating to be stuck in line waiting to buy a license at low tide."
Licensing options range from a three-day razor clam license to an annual combination fishing license, which can be purchased online (https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov), by phone (1-866-246-9453) and from sporting goods stores and other retail license dealers around the state.
Under state law, diggers 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.
Ayres noted that Copalis was added to the line-up for the upcoming dig because fewer clams were harvested on that beach than expected in late March.
"We still have enough clams available for one more day of digging at Copalis," Ayres said. "I'm sure that beach will be a welcome addition to the upcoming dig."
In addition, Kalaloch Beach inside Olympic National Park will open for digging April 7-9 for the first time this season. The beach has been closed to digging since October due to a low abundance of clams, but park officials say the razor clam population is robust enough to sustain three days of digging.
"We are pleased to be able to provide this opportunity for park visitors from both near and far," said Olympic National Park Acting Superintendent Todd Suess. "Spring is a great time to visit the park's beaches, whether you're clamming or simply enjoying the shoreline and scenic beauty."
Morning low tides and beach openings for the upcoming dig are:
- April 7, Saturday (7:36 a.m., -1.2 ft.): Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks, Kalaloch
- April 8, Sunday (8:23 a.m., -1.5 ft.): Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks, Kalaloch
- April 9, Monday (9:11 a.m., -1.5 ft.): Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Kalaloch
Aryes cautions diggers to observe the boundary between Mocrocks Beach and Copalis Beach on days when the latter is closed to digging.
Copalis Beach lies south of the Copalis River and includes Ocean Shores, Oyhut, Ocean City and Copalis. Mocrocks Beach lies north of the Copalis River and includes Iron Springs, Roosevelt Beach, Seabrook, Pacific Beach and Moclips.