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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

February 23, 2012 at 4:16 PM

Coastal beaches good for razor clam digging last weekend despite poor weather conditions

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A predicted heavy westerly swell didn’t stop razor clam diggers from turning out off the coast last weekend.

“I was at Mocrocks, and was actually surprised at the turnout where we saw 4,000 diggers on Saturday,” said Dan Ayres, the head state Fish and Wildlife coastal shellfish biologist. “We had a surf advisory, and while the surf was up and the wind was blowing, the weather cleared and it wasn’t raining.”

“Half the people we talked to at Mocrocks had their (15-clam daily) limit, and the others had nothing so we ended up with an 8.2 average there,” Ayres said. “By Sunday the tide was a hair better, and conditions improved markedly.”

Coastwide on Saturday almost 11,200 diggers turned out and averaged 8.0 clams per person. And on Sunday, 17,300 diggers turned out, and they averaged 14.0 clams per person with close to limits at Mocrocks and limits for diggers at Long Beach.

“I was at Long Beach on Saturday and there was 20-foot swells, but it was doable, and the clams were there,” said Joe Hymer, a state Fish and Wildlife biologist. “We got our limits pretty easily (both days) and there was some nice-sized clams.”

At Twin Harbors the average was 10.0 clams per person on Sunday.

Ayres has submitted a spring dig proposal, and an announcement should be made by early next week. More digs are planned in March, April and May, and will likely change over to morning hour low tides.

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