Keeping an eye on the stormy weather off the coast and planning a razor clam digging trip accordingly will lead to excellent success.
That was the case during the last series of digs Dec. 13-16 where diggers actually found some bluebird days mixed in with some the worst storms of the month.
“For the last opener (Dec. 13-16) we had 9,500 diggers, and they averaged 13.5 clams per person (15 is a daily limit),” said Dan Ayres, the head state Fish and Wildlife coastal shellfish manager. “As the winter season goes anytime you can get almost 10,000 people out, and have them average 13.5 it wasn’t that bad.”
“We are seeing clams slowly improving in size, and still the bigger clams are being found at Copalis and Mocrocks,” Ayres said. “They’re smaller at Twin Harbors and Long Beach, but there are some good-sized clams mixed in there.”
“The weather on Saturday was a little rough, but at Long Beach it was 12.6 clams per person, Mocrocks was 134.0 and Copalis was 12.5,” Ayres said. “The really good low tides helped the success rate, but by Sunday the weather was horrid with 26-foot swell and 60 mph winds. I didn’t even risk sending our crew out so we’re assuming the turnout was zero, and if you did go and got a clam you get the golden egg.”
The next digging dates are: Dec. 28 at Twin Harbors; Dec. 29 at Long Beach, Twin Harbors and Mocrocks; Dec. 30-31 at Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis and Mocrocks. An official news release should be out later this afternoon.
More digging dates will be announced likely by this Friday for January and February.
The best digging usually occurs one to two hours before low tide.
Clam diggers must keep the first 15 clams dug regardless of size or condition. Each digger’s clams must be kept in a separate container.