The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife saw decent turnout for razor clam digs on beaches this week and expects large crowds over the weekend.
Digging opened Wednesday with reports of 585 diggers on the Copalis, which includes Ocean Shores, and Westport beaches — with an additional 760 participants at Long Beach, according to the WDFW’s Dan Ayres. Those numbers jumped to 1,660 on Mocrocks and Westport beaches and 1,300 at Long Beach on Thursday.
“This is the earliest we have opened razor clamming in over 30 years, so was hard to know what to expect,” Ayres wrote in an email. “However, with the early morning times of low tide, I didn’t expect to see big crowds until maybe Saturday morning. … So far, digger turnout is what we expected.”
COVID restrictions have limited the WDFW’s ability to take measurements, but Ayres stated what he’s been able to eyeball thus far looks good.
“Because of the COVID social distancing requirements my crews are not measuring clams as we usually do,” he wrote. “However, the clams we are seeing are generally very nice sized in the 4.5- to 5-inch range.
Ayres added drivers should take caution as he’s observed an issue with vehicles on the beach.
“Because we haven’t had our first fall storm, the beaches are very soft for driving and many folks are getting their vehicles stuck,” he wrote. “Also, because of the more difficult driving conditions, folks are driving and parking much lower on the beaches and in the zone were they are either on or close to the razor clam beds. That is a violation of beach driving laws and could result in a citation.”
Razor clam digs are scheduled to continue through December.