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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

March 24, 2011 at 11:29 AM

Recent coastal razor clam dig stymies diggers from one day to the next

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The coastal razor clam this past Saturday through Tuesday showed many different faces as the ocean played tricks on those who ventured out to beaches.

“We had a lot of people out on the beaches for sure, and the big draw was the Razor Clam Festival (at Ocean Shores on March 19) so that drew a lot more folks out,” said Dan Ayres, the head state Fish and Wildlife coastal shellfish biologist.

“On Saturday (March 19) the weather wasn’t the greatest, and the ocean (swells) made it tough on diggers,” Ayres said. “We had 15,000 diggers out on beaches (March 19) and that was almost the largest. It came up just shy of the New Year’s Eve turnout.”

Ayres says the experienced diggers did better, and most that were at Ocean Shores were brand new to the sport of digging razor clams.

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Funny what a difference 12 hours can make on the success because by Sunday, March 20 the surf settled down a whole lot and the crowd was about a third less than the day before.

“We had about 10,000 diggers coast wide on Sunday, and it was 14.7 clams per person,” Ayres said. “I was at Mocrocks and never heard from anyone who didn’t have a daily limit.”

This past Monday and Tuesday only Twin Harbors and Long Beach were open and digging was a mixed bag of success.

“People were getting rolled in the surf (on Monday), and we had one woman who was taken to the hospital,” Ayres said. “By Tuesday, the success went back up again.”

The next tentative dig is scheduled for April 7-9 at Twin Harbors and Long Beach only. More digging dates in April are also planned to be announced, hopefully by later this week.

(Photos taken by Seattle Times staff photographers)

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