LONG BEACH, Wash. - Clam diggers have received the go-ahead from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife to proceed with a razor-clam dig starting Friday.
Three evening digs are scheduled at Twin Harbors, Copalis and Mocrocks Friday through Sunday, while Long Beach is scheduled for two digs Saturday and Sunday. As with previous openers, digging will be allowed only during the hours between noon and midnight.
The WDFW authorized the digs after a series of marine toxin tests conducted by the Washington Department of Health confirmed the clams are safe to eat.
As long as the weather cooperates, the weekend should be good for clam digging, said Dan Ayres, WDFW coastal shellfish manager. "There are plenty of clams and the low tides are early enough for folks to dig during daylight hours."
Kalaloch Beach in Olympic National Park will remain closed, but may open for a spring dig if the clam population grows to harvestable size.
Harvesters are allowed to take no more than 15 razor clams and must keep the first 15 they dig, regardless of size or condition. Each digger's clams must be kept in a separate container.
A license is required for anyone age 15 or older. Any 2008 Washington state annual shellfish/seaweed license or combination license is still valid. Another option is a razor-clam only license available in annual or three-day only versions. Descriptions of the various licensing options are available on the WDFW Web site at (https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov)
Ayres said the best time to start digging at all beaches is an hour or two before low tide. He suggests that clam diggers check weather and surf forecasts before heading out.
Opening dates and evening low tides:
? Friday, (3:55 p.m., -0.1 feet) Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks.
? Saturday, (4:50 p.m., -0.4 feet) Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks.
? Sunday, (5:39 p.m., -0.6 feet) Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks.
Beaches scheduled to open are:
? Long Beach, from the Columbia River to Leadbetter Point.
? Twin Harbors Beach, which extends from the mouth of Willapa Bay north to the south jetty at the mouth of Grays Harbor.
? Copalis Beach, which extends from the Grays Harbor north jetty to the Copalis River, and includes the Copalis, Ocean Shores, Oyhut, Ocean City and Copalis areas.
? Mocrocks Beach, which extends from the Copalis River to the southern boundary of the Quinault Reservation near the Moclips River, including Iron Springs, Roosevelt Beach, Pacific Beach and Moclips.