It is almost time to break out the clam guns and shovels as the final approval for the upcoming coastal razor clam digs are just awaiting final signatures by state Fish and Wildlife, which is expected to be done by this afternoon.
The next coastal razor clam digs are scheduled for this Saturday and Sunday (Feb. 18-19) at Long Beach, Twin Harbors and Mocrocks. No digging will be allowed at any beach before noon.
Copalis Beach is closed and not included in the planned upcoming two-day dig, so diggers will need to observe the boundary between Mocrocks Beach and Copalis Beach, which are adjacent to one another north of Grays Harbor. The Copalis Beach areas lie south of the Copalis River and includes Ocean Shores, Oyhut, Ocean City and Copalis.
‘Weather (which is expected to be good this weekend) will be the deciding factor on digging success,” said Dan Ayres, the head state Fish and Wildlife coastal shellfish biologist. “People can expect to find great digging most anywhere (that is open for harvesting), and clams are in good shape and very fat as we have said in the last couple of months.”
Low tides: Saturday, Feb.18, 0.0 feet at 4:13 p.m.; and Sunday, Feb. 19, minus-0.2 feet at 5 p.m.
The last digs on Jan. 20-21, came off the heels of heavy snow fall, and turnout was light.
“We had a total of 6,800 people out digging razor clams with the biggest crowds (on Jan. 21 with 4,900 folks),” Ayres said. “Digging was better the second night (coast wide average of 12 clams per digger compared to Jan. 20 when it was 7.5 clams per digger), even with the surf up, the fact it wasn’t raining hard (unlike Friday) the average catch improved.”
“The good news is we know there are still plenty of clams on beaches, because we’ve had fewer clams harvested, and that will mean more digging opportunity down the road,” Ayres said.
More digs are also planned in March, April and May, and will likely change over to morning hour low tides.
Ayres says once the February digs are completed they plan to announce additional digs soon after.
(Photo by Ryan Nakata)