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Four days of razor clam digs on Washington beaches to start Dec. 26

By Columbian news services
Published: December 20, 2023, 5:04pm

OLYMPIA — Razor clam diggers can look forward to more holiday digging beginning Tuesday, Dec. 26, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife coastal shellfish managers announced Wednesday.

Not all coastal beaches are open for every dig, so diggers are encouraged to make sure their intended destination is open before heading out.

Optimal digging occurs between one and two hours before the listed time of low tide.

The following digs during afternoon and evening low tides (noon to midnight only) will proceed as scheduled, after marine toxin results from the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) showed razor clams are safe to eat:

Dec. 26, Tuesday, 6:18 p.m.; -0.9 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis

Dec. 27, Wednesday, 6:57 p.m.; -0.8 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks

Dec. 28, Thursday, 7:35 p.m.; -0.6 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis

Dec. 29, Friday, 8:11 p.m.; -0.3 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks

More information about domoic acid, as well as current levels at ocean beaches, can be found on the WDFW’s domoic acid webpage.

On all open beaches, the daily limit is 15 clams per person. Each digger’s clams must be kept in a separate container, and all diggers must keep the first 15 clams they dig, regardless of size or condition, to prevent waste.

All diggers 15 or older must have an applicable fishing license to harvest razor clams on any beach.

Upcoming tentative dig dates are Jan. 9-15; Jan. 22-28; Feb. 6-12; and Feb. 21-25.

The DOH requires test samples for marine toxins, and domoic acid levels must fall under the guideline level before a beach can open for digging. Domoic acid, a natural toxin produced by certain types of marine algae, can be harmful or fatal if consumed in sufficient quantities. Final approval usually occurs about a week or less — sometimes two to three days — before the start of each digging series.