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News / Sports / Outdoors

Field notes: Final razor clam digs of spring season approved

By Columbian news services
Published: May 4, 2024, 5:53am

The final seven days of coastal razor clam digs of the season will proceed as planned from May 6-12, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife coastal shellfish managers confirmed Friday.

Be aware that not all beaches are open for every dig. Optimal digging is between one and two hours before the listed time of low tide.

Confirmed dates during morning (midnight to noon) low tides:

  • May 6, Monday, 5:41 a.m.; -0.7 feet; Mocrocks
  • May 7, Tuesday, 6:28 a.m.; -1.5 feet; Long Beach, Mocrocks
  • May 8, Wednesday, 7:13 a.m.; -2.0 feet; Long Beach, Copalis
  • May 9, Thursday, 7:57 a.m.; -2.1 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • May 10, Friday, 8:41 a.m.; -1.9 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • May 11, Saturday, 9:27 a.m.; -1.4 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • May 12, Sunday, 10:16 a.m.; -0.8 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis

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.

To dig razor clams, Washingtonians must have a valid 2024-2025 recreational hunting and fishing licenses. Licenses can be purchased from WDFW’s licensing website, and from hundreds of license vendors around the state. All diggers age 15 or older must have an applicable fishing license to harvest razor clams on any beach.

WDFW plans to announce tentative digging opportunities in early fall for the 2024-2025 season via the WDFW razor clam webpage. This summer, WDFW will conduct population assessments and regularly monitor domoic acid levels, a natural marine toxin produced by certain types of marine algae, that can be harmful or fatal if consumed in sufficient quantities. More information about domoic acid, as well as current levels at ocean beaches, can be found on WDFW’s domoic acid webpage and on the DOH webpage.

Ride around Rainier set for Sept. 4

RAMROD is back on: The 40th annual Ride Around Mount Rainier in One Day endurance cycling event will circle Mount Rainier National Park on Sept. 4.

The ride is typically in July, but a permitting impasse with the national park wedged a wrench in the spokes of this summer’s event. Mount Rainier National Park is debuting a timed entry system this summer designed to alleviate crowding in the park. MRNP leadership denied a request from RAMROD organizers Redmond Cycling Club to use busy Paradise and Stevens Canyon roads for the race.

Unable to agree on a route that would avoid those roads, the park and Redmond Cycling Club elected to avoid the timed entry window entirely. Instead, RAMROD will test out an amended version of the event in September, the Wednesday after Labor Day.

This year’s event will have tweaks beyond the new date: Participants will cycle clockwise for the first time, starting and ending in Enumclaw as they circumnavigate Mount Rainier. Registration, scheduled to start next month, will feature first-come, first-serve priority, instead of the typical lottery system (2023 volunteers will be grandfathered into the total of 800 riders, per RAMROD tradition).

Public input sought on cougar hunting

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is now accepting public comments on proposed changes to cougar hunting seasons. The public may submit comments electronically, by phone, or by mail through June 21, or in person during a public hearing at the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission’s June meeting in Vancouver.

If adopted, the proposed rule would set the Washington cougar hunting season from Sept. 1 to March 31, set a cap of 13% of each population management unit using a specific statewide density, and include all known human-caused cougar mortalities to determine when to close a PMU during the season.

The public may submit comments online, via email, by calling 1-855-925-2801 and entering project code 1261.

Those interested in providing verbal comments during the Fish and Wildlife Commission meeting June 21-22 will need to pre-register online.