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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

November 1, 2011 at 8:08 AM

Coastal razor clam digging off to an excellent start

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The fall and winter coastal razor clam dig last Friday and Saturday started off on a high note.

“Digging was good overall, and I was out on Mocrocks on Friday night and just about everyone had the limit (of 15 clams per person),” said Dan Ayres, the head state Fish and Wildlife coastal shellfish biologist.

Ayres says the weather on Friday was good as the rains had ended, and then it stayed dry all through the Saturday night digs as well. It was a little bit windy, but the surf was too bad.

“It was just a little less than 15 clams per person just about everywhere, although at Twin Harbors it was 12 clams per person,” Ayres said. “Some were nice 5-inch clams mixed in with 3 ½- to 4-inch clams, and most people seemed happy with the outcome.”

There was 12,100 diggers who got 168,400 clams for an average of 13.8 clams per person.

Ayres says the crowds weren’t as big as expected and about 50 percent of what they expected, but we did predict on the high side before the season occurred.

“It could have been a lot of things like Game 7 of the World Series, but that just means we’ve still got plenty of clams left for more digging down the road,” Ayres said.

On Friday night, Ayres said some people managed to get on and off the beach with their clams before it got dark.

The next tentative digs are scheduled for Long Beach, Twin Harbors and Mocrocks only on Nov. 11-12. Digging will be allowed anytime after noon on each day. Copalis and Kalaloch will be closed during this next dig.

“We should know final results (from test digging for marine toxins) by the end of the week,” said Ayres. “We didn’t have any concerns outside of Twin Harbors, and they toxin levels went down there and it should keep on going down. It was 34 degrees this morning so that is not plankton growing weather.”

Other dates are Nov. 25 at Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis and Mocrocks; Nov. 26 at Long Beach, Twin Harbors and Mocrocks; Dec. 10 at Long Beach, Twin Harbors and Mocrocks; Dec. 22 at Long Beach, Twin Harbors and Mocrocks; and Dec. 23 at Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis and Mocrocks.

(Photo by Ryan Nakata)

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