The fall coastal razor clam digs started off on a high note with great weather, but by the weekend things began to deteriorate really fast.
“We had a quick transition from wonderful summer-like weather early in the week to more winter-like weather and a high surf warning by Saturday,” said Dan Ayres, the head state Fish and Wildlife coastal shellfish manager.
The first three days (Oct. 7-9 at Long Beach and Twin Harbors) were beautiful and no surf, and everyone was pretty happy,” Ayres said. “On Friday (Oct. 10), we added Mocrocks and the surf came up and diggers started to get wet but most still had limits of clams.”
“I was out on Saturday night and the surf was up with a strong push,” he said. “It was dangerous and a lot of people got rolled and wet, but believe it or not a few people got limits especially at Mocrocks. For the most part people really struggled to get anything at all.”
Coast-wide a total of 23,100 digger trips took home 291,000 clams for an average of 12.6 clams per person (the first 15 dug regardless of size or condition is a daily limit).
At Long Beach, the average was 13.5 clams per person; Twin Harbors it was 14.1; Mocrocks saw an average of 12.1; and Copalis had a paltry 3.9.
The clams as expected during every fall season were on the small size, and at Long Beach the average was 4 inches mixed in with a few small pockets of larger clams. At Twin Harbors, diggers saw a mix of small and large clams. The few dug at Copalis were nice in size, and Mocrocks always has some bigger ones mixed in with a few smaller size clams.
Final approval of the next digs will be announced either late Thursday afternoon or Friday, but Ayres doesn’t anticipate any issues with marine toxins.
“Marine toxin levels remain very low coast-wide, and I’d be surprised if there was any change,” Ayres said.
Next tentative dates at Long Beach and Twin Harbors are Wednesday to Oct. 28; Mocrocks on Oct. 24-26; and Copalis on Oct. 25. Digging is open from noon to midnight each day.
Other tentative dates at Long Beach and Twin Harbors are Nov. 4-11, Nov. 20-26, Dec. 3-9, Dec. 19-23 and Dec. 31. Mocrocks on Nov. 7-9, Nov. 21-23, Dec. 5-7, Dec. 19-21 and Dec. 31. Copalis on Nov. 8, Nov. 22, Dec. 6, Dec. 20 and Dec. 31. Kalaloch Beach is closed due a low population of razor clams.
For more details, go to http://seattletimes.com/html/outdoors/2024637507_outnotes28xml.html.