LONG BEACH, Wash. - The first razor clam dig of 2005 will get under way this week on four razor clam beaches in Washington.
Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis and Mocrocks beaches will all be open to razor clam digging between noon and midnight Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has announced.
The department confirmed plans to conduct the three-day dig after a series of marine toxin tests showed that the clams on those beaches are safe to eat, said Dan Ayres, WDFW coastal shellfish manager.
The razor clam opening in January is the first of three digs scheduled by WDFW in early 2005. Subsequent digs, tentatively scheduled on evening tides Feb. 5 to Feb. 7 and March 6 to March 8, are contingent on the results of future marine toxin tests, Ayres said.
For best results, Ayres recommends that clammers start digging at least one hour before low tide. Evening low tides during the three-day opening in January are:
Friday: 4:01 p.m., +0.1
Saturday: 4:55 p.m., -0.5
Sunday: 5:47, -1.0
Under WDFW rules, harvesters may take no more than 15 razor clams and must keep the first 15 taken, regardless of size or condition. Each digger's limit must be kept in a separate container.
Ayres reminds those planning to dig razor clams during the upcoming opening that a license is required for anyone age 15 or older. Any 2004 annual shellfish/seaweed license or combination license is still valid.
One new option is a "razor clam only" license now available in both annual and three-day versions. Descriptions of the various licensing options are available on the WDFW web site at (fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov)