You may want to rummage through the closet sooner rather than later for your ocean beach clamming gear.
From information gathered in annual ocean beach surveys this summer, the state fish and wildlife department is reporting that another banner dig season for personal use razor clammers could be on the horizon.
“Based on our assessments, the razor clam populations on some beaches exceed the near-record levels found in 2013,” said Dan Ayers, coastal shellfish manager. “We expect the 2014-15 season to be just as good if not better than last year.”
With the first dig opening for personal use or recreational gathering of razor clams tentatively set for the second week in October, the department is seeking public input on how to regulate the coming season opportunities.
Selection of digging days, catch limits and other topics related to dig management are on the table for discussion and possible modification.
There are recurrent factors beyond the control of managers such as the tides, weather, marine toxin levels and marine shellfish diseases that can and do affect razor clam digging options and success.
Comments, via e-mail or postal mail, will be accepted through Tuesday, Sept. 23 and can be directed online to firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed in care of Razor Clams, 48 Devonshire Road, Montesano, WA 98563.
For on line reviewing of the 2014 razor clam beach assessment report, log into: http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/razorclams/seasons_set.html.
General information including the how-tos of razor clam digging can be found at: http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/razorclams/.
Following this input period, the department will announce the calendar of dig dates and line-up of beaches involved for the months of October, November and December.
Barring an increase in marine toxin levels or the resurgence of a clam disease that could ravage these beach-dwelling populations, diggers can expect opportunities to unearth these delectable bivalves through the winter and spring of 2015.
COMMITTEE VOLUNTEERS SOUGHT
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is seeking candidates for appointment to its Puget Sound Recreational Fisheries Enhancement Oversight Committee.
Established in 2003 by the Legislature, the panel provides advice to WDFW’s director on all aspects of the marine fisheries enhancement program. Maintenance of sustainable populations of salmon and marine bottomfish, and promoting recreational fishing opportunities together with restoration and enhance recreational fisheries in Puget Sound are the department program’s key focuses.
The oversight committee consists of 10 volunteers who serve two-year terms and may be re-appointed. The next term starts Jan. 1 and expire December 2016.
Meeting several times a year, the committee, which is a broad representation of the sport fishing community, reviews projects and provides guidance on funding activities related to the enhancement program.
Qualifying applicants should be closely linked to and have ongoing communication with the personal use (sport) fishing community, have a good layman’s knowledge of salmon and bottomfish fisheries in Puget Sound and be able to attend the meetings.
Panelists do not receive direct compensation for this work.
Affiliation with an organized group is not required, but organizations may nominate a person for appointment. Individuals may present themselves as well.
Letters of interest with a resume must be sent by Wednesday, Oct. 15 with the following information:
• Name, address, telephone number and email address.
• Relevant experience and reasons for wanting to serve as a member of the enhancement group.
• Effectiveness in communication, including outreach and promotion.
Direct all nominations and inquires to Ryan Lothrop at email@example.com or Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Attn: Ryan Lothrop, 600 Capitol Way North, Olympia WA, 98501-1091.
For more information on the enhancement program and oversight committee, contact Lothrop at (360) 902-2808.