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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

February 22, 2013 at 11:06 AM

Coastal razor clam diggers should be very mindful this weekend due to stormy weather

(Photo courtesy of Ryan Nakata. Pictured is Ichiro Nakata with a nice clam he dug at Copalis Beach last season.)

Those planning on heading to the coast this weekend for razor clam digging are asked to use extreme caution due to the predicted stormy weather conditions.

“We want people to their own safety first, and we aren’t going to cancel the digs,” said Dan Ayres, the head state Fish and Wildlife coastal shellfish manager. “People also need to be mindful that we manage the seasons on the total number of clams dug and not the days of digging so we expect to have plenty more opportunity down the road.”

“I haven’t seen 30 foot swells off the coast in quite a while, and it can be scary,” Ayres said. “If diggers still plan to go out they need to be aware and watch the surf very carefully.”

Digging will be open Saturday and Sunday (Feb. 23-24) at Long Beach and Twin Harbors only. Digging is allowed after noon each day.

The National Weather Service is calling for a high surf and wind advisory on Saturday off the coast with large breakers of 25 to 29 feet expected in the surf zone. Sustained winds will be between 25-35mph, gusting to 50 mph.

Be alert for downed branches and possible power outages from the wind. Be extremely alert on the beaches as waves will run up much farther than normal. Be alert on rocks and jetties as waves could knock a person down and pull them out to sea.

Such large breakers will cause sudden and fast beach run-ups, and powerful waves can wash up on a beach faster than a person can run. The weather is expected to die down somewhat by Sunday.

Other tentative afternoon digs are March 7-8 and March 11 at Twin Harbors; and March 9-10 at Twin Harbors, Long Beach, Copalis and Mocrocks. Morning digs will occur March 28 and March 31 at Twin Harbors; March 29-30 at Twin Harbors, Long Beach, Copalis and Mocrocks. More digs are planned in April and May.

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