Saltwater Fish Report for 1-16-2020
WDFW approves a six-day razor clam dig starting Tuesday
by WA Department of Fish & Wildlife Staff
Razor clam diggers can return to ocean beaches for six days of digging beginning Jan. 21.
State shellfish managers with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) approved a dig on evening low tides after marine toxin tests showed the clams are safe to eat.
The approved dig is for the following beaches, dates and low tides:
- January 21, Tuesday, 4:23 pm -0.1 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
- January 22, Wednesday, 5:10 pm -0.5 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
- January 23, Thursday, 5:53 pm -0.6 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
- January 24, Friday, 6:32 pm -0.6 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
- January 25, Saturday, 7:08 pm -0.5 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
- January 26, Sunday, 7:42 pm -0.3 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
No digging is allowed before noon for allowed digs, when low tide occurs in the evening.
"Weather and surf during our last opener dissuaded many from participating," said Dan Ayres, WDFW coastal shellfish manager. "The good news is that this means there are still a great many clams out there for this and future digs."
For a list of proposed razor clam digs on Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis and Mocrocks beaches through February, please see our razor clam webpage.
Ayres said additional tentative razor clam digs for March and later will be announced in early February.
WDFW authorizes each dig independently after getting the results of marine toxin testing. Final approval of the tentatively scheduled openings will depend on whether results of marine toxin tests show the clams are safe to eat.
In order to ensure conservation of clams for future generations, WDFW sets tentative razor clam seasons that are based on the results from an annual coast-wide razor clam stock assessment and by considering harvest to date. To see videos of WDFW's sustainable management work for razor clam seasons, visit our razor clam page.
WDFW is also asking razor clam fans around the state to weigh in on the perennial question: Which is better, clam gun or shovel? To register support for a favored digging method, clam diggers can post a photo or video, complete with hashtag #TeamClamShovel or #TeamClamGun on any social media before the end of the spring season.
Additional safety considerations are important this time of year. "Diggers want to be sure to come prepared with good lighting devices and always keep an eye on the surf, particularly at this time of year when low tides come at dusk and after dark," said Ayres. "Diggers can also start gathering clams an hour or two before the tide, which on some days allows folks to enjoy daylight for most of their time on the beach."
All diggers age 15 or older must have an applicable 2019-20 fishing license to harvest razor clams on any beach. Licenses, ranging from a three-day razor clam license to an annual combination fishing license, are available on WDFW's website at https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov and from license vendors around the state.
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.
WDFW is the state agency tasked with preserving, protecting and perpetuating fish, wildlife and ecosystems, while providing sustainable fishing, hunting and other outdoor recreation opportunities.
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