WDFW – A six day razor clam dig that opens this Friday has been approved and the WDFW is emphasizing social distancing.
Shellfish managers have approved six more days of razor clam digging starting Oct. 16 after marine toxin tests showed the clams are safe to eat.
The agency continues to emphasize ‘digging while distancing’ to support efforts by community health experts to ensure a fun and safe razor clam season.
“Close proximity can accelerate the spread of COVID-19, so we’re asking the public to take steps to thoroughly prepare for their visits to avoid increasing risk,” said Larry Phillips, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife coastal region director, who notes that the Department is being guided by risk assessments by local and state health officials.
Health agencies are asking people to:
“Abundant razor clam populations are allowing for numerous digging opportunities along 58 miles of coastal beaches this year,” said Dan Ayres WDFW Coastal Shellfish Manager. “And, it is important that clam diggers only dig where it is allowed, prefer weekday digging if possible to avoid crowds, and spread out while digging, especially now.”
“Digging on closed beaches could result in a fine,” said Ayres. “Mocrocks and Copalis open on alternate days and diggers should be checking the season schedule and observing signs to determine that they are digging legally on the right beach.”
Mocrocks beach is open on Friday, Sunday, and Tuesday during the upcoming dig while Copalis is open Saturday, Monday and Wednesday.
Razor clam co-managers negotiated this schedule to ensure good access to low tides for both tribal and non-tribal diggers.
Razor clam diggers can find detailed beach maps that indicate locations and local names for beaches on WDFW’s razor clam webpages.
The approved razor clam digs to date, along with low tides and beaches, are listed below:
“Diggers want to be sure to come prepared with good lighting devices and always keep an eye on the surf, particularly at this time of year when low tides come at dusk and after dark,” said Ayres.
Razor clam managers with the agency previously announced extensive tentative digs through December, providing many opportunities to dig while maintaining social distancing.
Final approval of tentatively scheduled openings depends on results of marine toxin tests.
Digging is also contingent upon continued guidance by public health officials monitoring COVID-19 in coastal communities.
Public health officials will be closely monitoring new COVID-19 infection rates throughout the digging season and WDFW may make in-season adjustments to the schedule if necessary to reduce public health risks.
The tentative razor clam through December, along with low tides and beaches, are listed below:
No digging is allowed before noon during digs when low tide occurs in the afternoon or evening.
All diggers age 15 or older must have an applicable fishing license to harvest razor clams on any beach.
Licenses, ranging from a three-day razor clam license (starting at $9.70) to an annual combination fishing license, are available on WDFW’s website and from some 600 license vendors around the state.
WDFW recommends buying your license before visiting coastal beach communities for this razor clam season.
Under state law, diggers at open beaches 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.
More information can be found on WDFW’s razor clam webpage.
WDFW razor clam digs support outdoor lifestyles and coastal economies.