April 15, 2013 at 10:57 AM
Four Canadians caught on a coastal beach with illegally harvesting more than 150 razor clams
It was a busy weekend for state Fish and Wildlife enforcement officers who conducted an emphasis patrol during the coastal razor clam digs this past weekend.
“We have officers on the beach in variety of ways (undercover and in uniform), and this was a very busy low tide series, but two of my officers noticed some very unusual behavior by the four individuals,” said Sgt. Matt Nixon with the state Fish and Wildlife enforcement division.
Officers witnessed two male individuals on a coastal beach near Ocean Shores harvesting 60-plus razor clams as two women whom accompanied them packed the clams into a van and drove off.
The two men remained on the beach and continued to dig more clams. Enforcement then followed the women to a nearby Ocean Shores hotel where the clams were tucked away in a room.
The suspects then came back to the beach where the two men had dug another 90 additional razor clams.
Enforcement then confronted the group who were from British Columbia, and they denied doing anything wrong several times. It was then the officers had told them everything was seen, and then they admitted to over-harvesting and officers were allowed to search their hotel room.
Officers found 151 razor clams (the first 15 clams dug is a daily limit for one digger). Enforcement officers issued citations for first-degree over limit of clams, fail to submit and digging for another person.
“It is not uncommon for us to issue citations, but our officers did a good job when observing these individuals and it will make for an excellent case,” Nixon said. “Overall clam digging is a wonderful family event, but it is this small percentage of people who make it unpleasant for everybody.”
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