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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

October 14, 2013 at 9:39 AM

Approval of next coastal razor clam digs should be known by Monday afternoon

Photo by Ryan Nakata. Little diggers try their luck at Copalis Beach.

Photo by Ryan Nakata. Little diggers try their luck at Copalis Beach.

Final word on the next coastal razor clam digs scheduled to begin Thursday, Oct. 17 should be coming sometime this afternoon (Monday, Oct. 14).

“We’re waiting for the state (Department of) Healthy to give us the green light, and there was a little bit of concern (for a marine toxin), but I’m sure we’ll be OK,” said Dan Ayres, the head state Fish and Wildlife coastal shellfish manager.

The most recent digs Oct. 4-8 produced light crowds, but pretty good digging success when the surf was down and the winds didn’t blow folks off the beaches.

A total of 22,438 diggers turned out Oct. 4-8 with 329,321 clams dug. Since the season opened Sept. 19 a total of 31,341 for 10-days of digging harvested 468,965 clams (12,116 was wastage, which is illegal for digger to do).

At Long Beach, 6,493 diggers Oct. 4-7 dug 94,305 clams and averaged 14.5 clams per person (the first 15 dug regardless of size or condition is a daily limit); at Twin Harbors, 5,836 Oct. 4-8 dug 84,430 and averaged 14.5; at Copalis, 5,886 Oct. 4-5 dug 87,889 and averaged 14.9; and at Mocrocks, 4,222 Oct. 4-7 dug 62,687 and averaged 14.8.

“Just about all the clams we saw were nice size, although at places like Mocrocks there are a lot of smaller clams and people who are selective will do much better,” Ayres said.

This comes on the heels of what was one of the earliest starts to the fall season, which occurred Sept. 19-23 at Twin Harbors. A total of 8,900 diggers turned out for the five days, averaging 14.3 clams per person.

The next digs are planned for Thursday, Oct. 17 at Twin Harbors; Friday and Saturday, Oct. 18-19 at Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis and Mocrocks; Sunday, Oct. 20 at Long Beach, Twin Harbors and Mocrocks; Monday, Oct. 21 at Twin Harbors and Mocrocks; and Tuesday, Oct. 22 at Twin Harbors.

State shellfish managers are finalizing more digs for the remainder of the year into December, and those will likely be on an every-other-week schedule.

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