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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

November 16, 2013 at 10:08 AM

Coastal razor clam diggers enjoy excellent fall season that will hopefully carry into winter and beyond

18razor2013With the coastal razor clam digs now underway, here is a look at how this fall season has shaped up.

Digging is open Saturday, Nov. 16 at Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis and Mocrocks; Sunday, Nov. 17 at Long Beach, Twin Harbors and Mocrocks; and Nov. 18-20 at Twin Harbors. Digging is open from noon to midnight each day.

A quick look back since the season opened revealed some excellent digging that hopefully carryover well into winter and possibly spring.

Digging on the opener Sept. 19-23 at Twin Harbors produced 8,903 digger trips with 127,528 clams dug for an average of 14.3 (the first 15 clams dug regardless of size or condition is a daily limit).

That was followed by more digging on Oct. 4-8 on various open beaches that generated 22,438 digger trips with 329,321 clams dug. Long Beach was open Oct. 4-7, and 6,493 diggers had 94,305 clams for 14.5 per person average; Twin Harbors was open Oct. 4-8, and 5,836 diggers had 84,430 clams for 14.5; Copalis was open Oct. 4-5, and 5,886 diggers had 87,899 clams for 14.9; and Mocrocks was open Oct. 4-7, and 4,222 diggers had 62,687 clams for 14.8.

More digging then occurred Oct. 17-22 on various open beaches tallied 31,819 digger trips with 472,888 clams dug. Long Beach was open Oct. 17-20, and 8,891 diggers had 132,486 clams for 14.9 per person average; Twin Harbors was open Oct. 17-22, and 8,335 diggers had 123,420 clams for 14.8; Copalis was open Oct. 18-19, and 8,901 diggers had 131,664 clams for 14.8; and Mocrocks was open Oct. 18-21, and 5,692 diggers had 85,218 clams for 15.0.

The latest digs Nov. 1-8 on various open beaches saw 13,541 digger trips with 171,703 clams dug. Long Beach was open Nov. 2-5, and 3,782 diggers had 49,836 clams for 13.2 per person average (no data was available for digging on Nov. 4-5); Twin Harbors was open Nov. 1-8, and 4,311 diggers had 53,277 clams for 12.4 (no data was available for digging on Nov. 7-8); Copalis was open Nov. 2, and 1,767 diggers had 14,628 clams for 8.3; and Mocrocks was open Nov. 1-4, and 3,680 diggers had 53,962 clams for 14.7.

Last year, a total of 420,000 digger trips were made in 2012-13 with 6.1 million clams dug for an average of 14.5 clams per person. For comparison, in 2011-12 a total of 194,976 digger trips produced 2.5 million clams for 13.2 per digger average; and in 2010-11, a total of 244,500 produced 3.2 million for 13.1.

Barring any marine toxin issues diggers should see excellent digging now and well into spring time.

“At Mocrocks, the clam population is the highest we’ve ever measured dating back 20 years,” Dan Ayres, the head state Fish and Wildlife coastal shellfish manager said of the area just north of Ocean Shores in an earlier interview. “Populations are also up at Twin Harbors, Copalis and Long Beach.”

State Fish and Wildlife surveys taken this summer paint a much different picture on the size and quality of razor clams, which are larger than last year by a half an inch or so, according to Ayres.

Here are the additional evening digging dates going into the winter holiday period:

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Nov. 30, Saturday, 4:28 pm; -0.1 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, and Mocrocks

Dec. 1, Sunday, 5:13 pm; -0.9 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks

Dec. 2, Monday, 5:59 pm; -1.4 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks

Dec. 3, Tuesday, 6:44 pm; -1.7 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks

Dec. 4, Wednesday, 7:30 pm; -1.7 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors

Dec. 5, Thursday, 8:17 pm; -1.4 feet; Twin Harbors

Dec. 6, Friday, 9:05 pm; -1.0 feet; Twin Harbors

Dec. 7, Saturday, 9:56 pm; -0.3 feet; Twin Harbors

Dec. 14, Saturday, 4:45 pm; -0.1 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, and Mocrocks

Dec. 15, Sunday, 5:26 pm; -0.3 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbor, and Mocrocks

Dec. 16, Monday, 6:03 pm; -0.4 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, and Mocrocks

Dec. 17, Tuesday, 6:38 pm; -0.4 feet; Twin Harbors

Dec. 18, Wednesday, 7:12 pm; -0.3 feet; Twin Harbors

Dec. 29, Sunday, 4:05 pm; -0.2 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, and Mocrocks

Dec. 30, Monday, 4:55 pm; -0.9 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, and Mocrocks

Dec. 31, Tuesday, 5:42 pm; -1.4 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, and Mocrocks

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