State sets tentative dates for razor clam digs, starting Oct. 7

The first razor clam dig of the season is tentatively set to begin Oct. 7, as the state has announced 41 days of digging to take place through New Year’s Eve.

During the first dig, scheduled for Oct. 7-12, Twin Harbors and Long Beach beach areas will be open all six days, with digging also taking place at Mocrocks and Copalis.

People planning to take part need to remember the digs are still tentative at this time. State fishery managers will give the final approval for each dig once marine toxin tests show clams are safe to eat.

“We announced the proposed schedule to give people time to makes plans,” said Dan Ayres, coastal shellfish manager for the state Department of Fish and Wildlife. “However, none of the digs are confirmed until we announce the results of the toxin tests.”

Preseason testing show toxin levels in clams are well below levels to force a closure.

With that word of caution, Ayres said the 2014-15 season should be another good one. Last season, the 451,000 diggers who took part averaged 13.9 clams per trip to the beach.

Preseason monitoring show Twin Harbors, Long Beach and Mocrocks have excellent numbers of clams, Ayres said, while Copalis is average.

“Overall, there are a lot of clams out there and we expect this to be another great season,” Ayres said.

Under state law, diggers can take 15 razor clams per day and are required to keep the first 15 they dig. Each digger's clams must be kept in a separate container. Diggers may not harvest any part of another person's daily limit, unless they possess a designated harvester card.

Diggers age 15 or older must have an applicable 2014-15 fishing license to harvest razor clams on state beaches. Fishing licenses of various kinds are available at fishhunt.dfw.wa.govand from license vendors around the state.

A new video produced by the department, which demonstrates how to teach your kids to harvest razor clams, can be viewed at youtube.com/thewdfw.

For more information on razor clam digging, go to wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/razorclams/