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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

April 13, 2011 at 6:27 PM

Next coastal razor clam dig approved to begin next week

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The next round of coastal razor clam digs got the green light today to begin April 19.

Two beaches – Long Beach and Twin Harbors – will open for digging April 19 through April 22 until noon each day, plus April 23 until 1 p.m.

Copalis and Mocrocks will be open for digging April 21-22 until noon and April 23 until 1 p.m. under that plan.

Fishery managers agreed to an extra hour of digging Saturday, April 23, because low tide won’t occur until 11:27 a.m.

Dan Ayres, the head state Fish and Wildlife coastal shellfish biologist noted that a coastwide beach cleanup is also scheduled that day, so diggers may encounter people carrying plastic bags as well as clam shovels. Last year, volunteers for CoastSavers removed 16 tons of trash along the Washington coastline and will have sign-up stations at a number of beaches.

“Diggers who get their limits early might want to pitch in,” Ayres said.

Diggers may take no more than 15 razor clams and must keep the first 15 taken, regardless of size or condition. Each digger’s limit must be kept in a separate container.

Low tides: April 19, minus-1.8 feet at 8:07 a.m.; April 20, -1.7 at 8:54 a.m.; April 21, -1.4 at 9:42 a.m.; April 22, -0.8 at 10:33 a.m.; and April 23, -0.2 at 11:27 a.m.

Kalaloch Beach is closed to razor-clam digging until further notice for an assessment of the clam population on the beach.

At Long Beach and Twin Harbors, the upland portions of the beach are also closed to protect nesting western snowy plovers, which are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.

“The birds are particularly vulnerable this time of year,” Ayres said. “Signs clearly mark the area and instruct people to stay on the hard-packed sand.”

The closed upland 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.

More digs could occur in May if enough clams are left to harvest. State Fish and Wildlife will conduct assessments of clams once these digs are finished.

(Photo taken by Ryan Nakata)

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