Clam diggers expected to get plenty of December chances

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LONG BEACH — Three razor clam digs totaling 11 days, including New Year’s Eve, tentatively have been scheduled through December for the Long Beach Peninsula.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife announced the digs last week. Final approval depends on marine toxin tests indicating the clams are safe to eat.

The Long Beach digs, including low tide and height, are:

Nov. 30, 4:28 p.m., -0.1 feet; Dec. 1, 5:13 p.m., -0.9 feet; Dec. 2, 5:59 p.m., -1.4 feet; Dec. 3, 6:44 p.m., -1.7 feet; Dec. 4, 7:30 p.m., -1.7 feet; Dec. 14, 4:45 p.m., -0.1 feet; Dec. 15, 5:26 p.m., -0.3 feet; Dec. 16, 6:03 p.m., -0.4 feet; Dec. 29, 4:05 p.m., -0.2 feet; Dec. 30, 4:55 p.m., -0.9 feet, and Dec. 31, 5:42 p.m., -1.4 feet.

“Although these digs are still tentative, tide levels look good,’’ said Dan Ayres, coastal shellfish manager “That’s especially true for the dig beginning Nov. 30, and for the New Year’s Eve dig.’’

As many as 20,000 diggers have descended on the beaches to gather razor clams on New Year’s Eve, he said.

“Razor clam digging on New Year’s Eve has become a tradition for many Washingtonians,’’ Ayres said. “The tides aren’t conducive to a holiday dig every year, but they’re with us in 2013.’’

Diggers can take 15 razor clams per day and are required to keep the first 15 dug. Each digger’s clams must be kept in a separate container.

Diggers age 15 and older must have an applicable 2013-14 license.