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WDFW approves 11 days of razor clam digs on Washington coast

By Columbian news services
Published: March 1, 2024, 3:40pm

OLYMPIA — Razor clam diggers can look forward to more digging opportunities on coastal beaches beginning March 7, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) coastal shellfish managers confirmed today.

“March is finally here and with it comes longer days, the switch to morning harvest, and hopefully better weather,” said Bryce Blumenthal, a WDFW coastal shellfish biologist. “This next tide series will start off with evening tides, shift halfway to early tides, and end with an added weekend of digs for the Ocean Shores Razor Clam Festival.”

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 March 7-17 digs will proceed as scheduled, after marine toxin results from the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) showed razor clams are safe to eat.

Afternoon and evening low tides (noon to midnight only):

• March 7, Thursday, 4:15 p.m.; -0.5 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis

• March 8, Friday, 5:00 p.m.; -0.8 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks

• March 9, Saturday, 5:42 p.m.; -0.9 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks

• March 10, Sunday, 7:22 p.m.; -0.7 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis

• March 11, Monday, 8:00 p.m.; -0.2 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis

Morning/early afternoon (4 a.m. to 4 p.m. only) low tides from March 12-17:

• March 12, Tuesday, 8:33 a.m.; -0.3 feet; Long Beach, Mocrocks

• March 13, Wednesday, 9:21 a.m.; -0.4 feet; Long Beach, Mocrocks

• March 14, Thursday, 10:12 a.m.; -0.3 feet; Long Beach, Mocrocks

• March 15, Friday, 11:08 a.m.; 0.1 feet; Copalis (Ocean Shores Razor Clam Festival)

• March 16, Saturday, 12:10 p.m.; 0.5 feet; Copalis (Ocean Shores Razor Clam Festival)

• March 17, Sunday, 1:23 p.m.; 0.9 feet; Mocrocks (Ocean Shores Razor Clam Festival)

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.

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. Licenses can be purchased from WDFW’s licensing website, and from hundreds of license vendors around the state. WDFW recommends buying your license before visiting coastal beach communities. Additional razor clam information is available on the WDFW razor clam webpage.

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