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News / Northwest

Razor clams are back on the menu: Washington announces 11 days of clam digs

By Caitlyn Freeman, , The Seattle Times (TNS),
Published: March 3, 2024, 6:12pm

Grab your clam shovel or clam gun: The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife announced 11 days of razor clam digs on Washington’s coast, starting Thursday beginning March 7.

The agency approved the dates after mandatory toxin testing for the clams showed they’re safe to eat, according to a news release. From March 7 to March 17, those with clamming licenses can collect up to 15 clams per day from preapproved beaches.

“March is finally here and with it comes longer days, the switch to morning harvest, and hopefully better weather,” Bryce Blumenthal, a WDFW coastal shellfish biologist, said in the release.

This year’s season coincides with the 2024 Ocean Shores Razor Clam and Seafood Festival, March 15-17. The free-to-attend festival at the Ocean Shores Convention Center will include various kinds of seafood including clams, crabs and more, as well as non-seafood options.

Pacific razor clams boast a long, narrow and sharp shell, can grow over a foot in length and live longer than a decade. They have a long history in the Pacific Northwest: Indigenous people relied on them for centuries as an important source of food, and that tradition continued when pioneers settled in the area.

To this day, people will swarm Washington’s coast to dig up the filter feeders and fry them up at home. And there’s an effort underway to make them the official state clam.

If you go

From March 7 to 11, people can go clamming from noon to midnight, during the afternoon and evening low tides. From March 12 to 17, people can go for the morning and early afternoon tides, from 4 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Later clamming dates through the rest of March and April have been set but are tentative.

For more information, including which beaches to go to on what days, visit https://st.news/RazorClams.

Fish and Wildlife also has directions on how to dig for clams, as well as a few recipes, at https://st.news/ClammingHowTo.