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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

February 5, 2014 at 11:52 AM

Excellent coastal razor clam digging will carry on well into spring time

photo (36)The coastal razor clam digs remain off-the-charts good as the most recent digging on Jan. 28-Feb. 2 revealed despite a very low turnout on Super Bowl Sunday.

“It was like Armageddon driving through Aberdeen on my way to Mocrocks last Sunday during the Super Bowl game,” said Dan Ayres, the head state Fish and Wildlife coastal shellfish manager.

“I got out to Mocrocks and counted 60 cars and an estimated 180 people on Sunday, and there was a little more than 600 people coastwide on open beaches,” Ayres said. “It was pretty minimal crowds, but the good news was all had their (15-clam) daily limits. Most of the folks digging were locals, and had come out after the game (was pretty much a blowout).”

In all 20,738 diggers turned out on coastal beaches from Jan. 28-Feb. 2 gathering 300,043 razor clams for an average of 14.5 clams per digger (the first 15 clams dug regardless of size or condition is a daily limit).

“It was great digging, and Saturday when all four beaches were open it was blue bird conditions with folks building camp fires, no wind and a relatively warm evening,” Ayres said. “We took some samples of clams right out in front of the tribal casino at Copalis Beach, and had a hard time finding small clams. The biggest was dig was 6 ¼ inches.”

Success has remained excellent with 9,564 diggers Jan. 29-Feb. 2 at Long Beach harvesting 136,632 clams for 14.3 per person average; at Twin Harbors, 4,489 from Jan. 28-Feb. 2 had 66,753 for 14.9; at Copalis, 2,600 on Feb. 1 had 38,995 for 15.0; and at Mocrocks, 4,084 on Jan. 30-Feb. 2 had 57,663 for 14.1.

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Since the season began Sept. 19 through Feb. 2, a total of 195,093 diggers have taken home 2,755,238 clams, and clam wastage total of 36,054. A breakdown of season average by beach is 13.7 at Long Beach; 14.3 at Twin Harbors; 14.2 at Copalis; and 14.6 at Mocrocks.

More digs are planned Feb. 26-28 at Twin Harbors, and Feb. 27-28 at Long Beach and Mocrocks, plus a few more days could be added in early March. State Fish and Wildlife is expected to make a final decision on specific dates very soon.

Additional dates are also expected later in spring, and those will switch to morning low tides during daylight hours.

“We’ll have a break for part of February, and announce more dates for March and April,” Ayres said. “We should also see some digs well into May.”

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