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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

April 22, 2010 at 11:38 AM

Next week’s coastal razor clam digs are a go

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Another round of coastal razor clam digs were approved, and if the weather and surf are cooperative digging should be excellent.

“Digging was very successful (on April 16-18) at the three open beaches (Long Beach, Twin Harbors and Kalaloch),” said Dan Ayres, the head coastal state Fish and Wildlife shellfish biologist. “We had lots of diggers out, and it was pretty spectacular, and the most effort we’ve seen on any of the previous morning tides.”

The three-day dig produced 29,000 digger trips, and 15 clam daily limits were the rule according to Ayres.

The razor clam digs are April 27-29 at Long Beach and Twin Harbors; April 30 at Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis and Mocrocks; and May 1-2 at Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks and Kalaloch. Digging is allowed until noon each day.

Low tides: April 27, minus-1.0 feet at 6:21 a.m.; April 28, -1.4 at 7:06 a.m.; April 29, -1.6 at 7:50 a.m.; April 30, -1.5 at 8:32 a.m.; May 1, -1.0 at 9:15 a.m.; and May 2, -0.7 at 9:58 a.m.

Ayres pointed out that portions of the beach at Long Beach and Twin Harbors are closed to the public to protect nesting western snowy plovers, which are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.

The closed portion at each beach includes the area above the mean high tide line. At Long Beach, the closed areas are located north of the Oysterville Road from the state park boundary north to Leadbetter Point.

At Twin Harbors, the closed areas are located from just south of Midway Beach Road to the first beach-access trail at Grayland Beach State Park. Clam diggers are reminded that the entire northern section of Long Beach is closed to all driving starting at noon each day during this razor clam opener.

“Signs clearly mark the area and instruct people to stay on the hard-packed sand,” Ayres said.

The daily limit is the first 15 razor clams dug regardless of size or condition. Each digger’s limit must be kept in a separate container.

All diggers 15 years or older must have an applicable 2010-11 fishing license to dig razor clams on any beach.

Anglers can buy a combination license or an annual shellfish/seaweed license. Also available are razor-clam only licenses in annual or three-day only versions.

Ayres reminds prospective clammers that overnight and weekend repairs to I-5 could make it considerably more difficult to get to and from Washington’s coast.

The Washington State Department of Transportation announced that repairs to the highway between Lacey and Tacoma will close north and south bound lanes through September, resulting in traffic backups that could stretch for miles.

(Photo taken by Seattle Times photographer Benjamin Benschnieder)

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