Follow us:

Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

January 3, 2012 at 5:00 PM

More coastal razor clam digs on the near horizon

Razor5.jpg

Time once again to break out the clam gun or shovel as state Fish and Wildlife have tentatively set more razor coastal clam digs in January and February.

The first dig is Jan. 20-21 at Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis and Mocrocks, and the next is Feb. 18-19 at Long Beach, Twin Harbors and Mocrocks. No digging will be allowed at any beach before noon.

Final approval of all openings will depend on results of marine toxin tests that show the clams are safe to eat, which are usually announced about a week before the scheduled digs.

The final coastal razor clam of 2011 occurred on Dec. 22-23, and came with a mixed bag of success.

“The two nights (Dec. 22-23) could not have been more different,” said Dan Ayres, the head state Fish and Wildlife coastal shellfish biologist.

Razor3.jpg

“The surf was low, the wind calm and the clams abundant (on Dec. 22),” Ayres said. “I worked on Copalis, and we did not encounter anyone who had less than their 15 clam (daily limit). The average for the evening coast-wide was 14.7 clams per digger with a total of 5,900 diggers out.”

On Dec. 23, “the surf came up considerably (with the closest NOAA wave buoys showing 20-plus foot swell) with 7.8 clams per digger trip, and that was only because digging was still pretty good at Mocrocks, unlike everywhere else with a total of 7,000 diggers out,” Ayres said.

Overall during the two days there were 12,900 diggers taking home an average of 11.0 clams per digger trip. Clam size at Long Beach was 4.5 inch average, and Copalis and Mocrocks it was a 4.6 inch average. No size data was available from Twin Harbors.

Ayres says additional digs through spring will be announced once a catch assessment is completed through the February digs.

Kalaloch Beach will remain closed until April, due to a low abundance of razor clams. The National Park Service, which manages that beach in cooperation with state Fish and Wildlife, has announced plans to open Kalaloch for a razor clam dig April 7-9.

Low tides: Jan. 20, minus-0.5 feet at 4:28 p.m.; Jan. 21, -0.8 at 5:17 p.m.; Feb. 18, 0.0 at 4:13 p.m.; and Feb. 19, -0.2 at 5 p.m.

(Photos by Ryan Nakata of Mercer Island)

Comments

COMMENTS

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.



The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►