Shellfish managers have approved the next round of razor clam digging starting the first week in December on coastal beaches.
The Washington State Department of Fish & Wildlife says that the latest tests for marine toxins came back all clear from the Washington Department of Health, which means the first round of December digs can proceed as planned.
“The weather hasn’t always been cooperative the last couple of weeks, but there’s still plenty of opportunities to hit the beach and dig for some razor clams,” said Dan Ayres, coastal shellfish manager with WDFW. “Hopefully December will bring some clearer winter days for people to get out and enjoy this amazing resource.”
The following digs were approved, along with the low tides and beaches:
- Dec. 1, Wednesday, 4:09 P.M.; +0.1 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
- Dec. 2, Thursday, 4:58 P.M.; -0.8 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
- Dec. 3, Friday, 5:45 P.M.; -1.5 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
- Dec. 4, Saturday, 6:32 P.M.; -1.9 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
- Dec. 5, Sunday, 7:20 P.M.; -2.0 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
- Dec. 6, Monday, 8:09 P.M.; -1.7 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
- Dec. 7, Tuesday, 8:59 P.M.; -1.2 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
- Dec. 8, Wednesday, 9:51 P.M.; -0.6 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
- Dec. 9, Thursday, 10:45 P.M.; +0.1 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
All open beaches (Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks, and Copalis) have increased limits through the end of 2021, with diggers allowed to keep 20 clams instead of the usual 15.
Not all beaches are open for every dig, so diggers are encouraged to make sure their intended destination is open before heading out. Diggers should also continue to respect coastal communities and residents by following local and state health guidelines.
Most successful digging occurs between one and two hours before the listed time of low tide. No digging is allowed before noon during digs when low tide occurs in the afternoon or evening.
All diggers age 15 or older must have an applicable fishing license to harvest razor clams on any beach and each digger’s clams must be kept in a separate container, and all diggers must keep the first 20 clams they dig, regardless of size or condition.
WDFW has tentatively scheduled additional digging dates later in 2021 – details can be found at wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfishing-regulations/razor-clams. All tentative dates are dependent on final marine toxin testing, which usually occurs about a week or less prior to each set of openings. WDFW will announce additional dates in 2022 in mid-December after reviewing harvest levels and projections.
Ayres recently shared some tips for cleaning and cooking razor clams in a video, which can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sTaRaHkFFEw.
For some basics on how to dig razor clams, see https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/basics/digging-razor-clams.
Licenses, ranging from a three-day razor clam license to an annual combination fishing license or a Fish Washington license, are available from WDFW’s licensing website at fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov/login, and from hundreds of license vendors around the state. WDFW recommends buying your license before visiting coastal beach communities for this razor clam season.
To learn more about razor clam abundance, population densities at various beaches, and how seasons are set, visit wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfishing-regulations/razor-clams#management.