Coastal razor clam digging is just dandy when the weather cooperates, and an estimated 30,900 diggers showed up last Saturday at Long Beach, Copalis and Mocrocks.
“We had absolutely off-the-charts digging, and the weather and surf cooperated providing near limits of clams (the first 15 clams regardless of size or condition is a daily limit) for everyone,” said Dan Ayres, the head coastal state Fish and Wildlife shellfish manager.
“Folks are Copalis struggled the most for some reason, and averaged 13 clams per person,” he said. “You couldn’t have asked for a better day, and it never ceases to amaze me.”
Razor clam digging remains open daily on the southern coast at Long Beach during evening low tides only through March 10.
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Digging is now closed at Mocrocks and Copalis, but state Fish and Wildlife has plans for additional digs that will be announced by Friday once they get test results for marine toxins.
Health test samples taken Feb. 10 at Long Beach showed levels at 13 parts per million, Copalis was 5.0 ppm on Feb. 11, and Mocrocks was 17.0 ppm on Feb. 11, which all falls under the 20 ppm action level.
Elsewhere, samples taken at Twin Harbors was 34 ppm on Feb. 10.
Two clean samples are needed before state Fish and Wildlife can look at opening a beach for digging, and results should come to light on Tuesday.
State Fish and Wildlife take health test samples for domoic acid – a natural marine toxin produced by certain types of marine algae – that can be harmful or even fatal if consumed in sufficient quantities. For updates on domoic acid, go to http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/razorclams/domoic_levels.html.
“We should have plenty of dates to dig in March at the three beaches, and we’ve got a razor clam festival coming up so we’ll be very busy next month,” Ayres said.
The Razor Clam Festival and Seafood Extravaganza is 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. on March 18, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on March 19, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on March 20 at the Ocean Shores Convention Center.
Events include craft and food vendors, pro and amateur cook-offs, chef cooking demonstrations, best decorated clam art including best decorated shovel, children’s activities and games, music, clam scavenger hunt, entertainment, conservation and cultural exhibits, cooking demonstrations and live music. For details, go to http://www.oceanshores.org/clams/.
State Fish and Wildlife has some great “how to” dig razor clam videos. Click on this link to see them https://youtu.be/RBM9b5r6rMQ.