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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

April 11, 2013 at 8:00 AM

Coastal razor clam digs got off to a rocky start, but should improve heading into this weekend

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The latest coastal razor clam digs got off to a good start Monday (April 9) at Twin Harbors, but by Tuesday (April 10) the weather and surf conditions had deteriorated.

“Digging (Monday, April 9) at Twin Harbors was good with most limiting (the first 15 clams dug are a daily limit), but Tuesday the weather was nasty and it was really hard digging,” said Dan Ayres, the head state Fish and Wildlife coastal shellfish manager.

“The weather forecast looks good the next few days and the ocean will be bumpy, but by Saturday it is expected to be partly cloudy with five foot swells,” Ayres said.

The last opener March 28-31 produced some excellent digging, and one of the largest turnouts this season.

“It was easy digging and many were done with limits of big clams in 10 minutes,” Ayres said.

An estimated 39,600 digger trips were taken coastwide (23,000 trips on Saturday, March 30 alone) and 594,000 clams were harvested for an average of 15.0 clams per person (the first 15 clams dug are a daily limit).

Ayres mentioned that clam wastage (where diggers leave clams dug on top of beaches in search of bigger ones) was a big issue especially at Twin Harbors.

“It is not unusual when you have a mix of big and small clams,” Ayres said. “The law says you must take your first 15 clams dug regardless of what you get.”

Digging is open until noon each day at Twin Harbors on Thursday, April 11 (low tide is minus-0.4 feet at 7:57 a.m.); Twin Harbors, Long Beach, Copalis and Mocrocks on Friday, April 12 (-0.4 at 8:34 a.m.); Twin Harbors, Long Beach, Copalis and Mocrocks on Saturday, April 13 (-0.2 at 9:11 a.m.); and Twin Harbors, Long Beach, Copalis and Mocrocks on Sunday, April 14 (plus-0.1 at 9:49 a.m.).

More digs are also tentatively planned for Twin Harbors on Wednesday, April 24 (-0.3 at 6:10 a.m.); Twin Harbors on Thursday, April 25 (-1.0 at 6:54 a.m.); Twin Harbors, Long Beach, Copalis and Mocrocks on Friday, April 26 (-1.5 at 7:38 a.m.); Twin Harbors, Long Beach, Copalis and Mocrocks on Saturday, April 27 (-1.7 at 8:24 a.m.); Twin Harbors, Long Beach, Copalis and Mocrocks on Sunday, April 28 (-1.7 at 9:11 a.m.); Twin Harbors, Long Beach and Mocrocks on Monday, April 29 (-1.5 at10:01 a.m.); and Twin Harbors on Tuesday, April 30 (-1.0 at 10:55 a.m.).

Depending on how things pan out and if enough razor clams are left to harvest state Fish and Wildlife could have more digs planned in May.

“Right now we are at 50 percent of the harvest total for Mocrocks, 45 percent at Ocean Shores and similar at Long Beach, but they can go fast so we’ll see what happens after this latest dig,” Ayres said. “Usually by mid- to late-April folks tend to float off to do other things, and that is funny since right now the clams are at their premium.”

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