For the first time this season it will be safe to dig for and eat razor clams. Don’t miss your chance because for now, it will only be allowed for two days, according to the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife.
The approved window is only at Mocrocks Beach in Moclips, Grays Harbor County, during low tides this Saturday at 9:37 a.m. and Monday at 11:03 a.m. Though the best time to seek out clams will be an hour to two hours before then, said Dan Ayres, a coastal shellfish manager with the department.
No digging is allowed in the afternoon.
Razor clam digging is typically available regularly between October and May. However this year the activity has been thwarted by blooms of marine toxins produced by plankton, Ayres said.
Officials regularly test razor clams for these toxins, which are produced by a naturally occurring process by plankton in the surf zone, he said. Razor clams take a particularly long time to flush out toxins because of how fatty they are, Ayres said.
The last time a bloom was bad enough to halt razor clamming for a long period was in 2015, he said.
Toxic blooms tend to occur in the summer after a warm-water event like an El Niño pushes the plankton to propagate. Some climate scientists believe that these blooms may become more common as ocean waters get warmer, Ayres said.
No other Washington beaches are scheduled to be open for digging. But the state will continue testing marine toxins to determine whether additional digs can be scheduled before the season ends.
All diggers who are 15 or older must have a fishing license to harvest razor clams, according to WDFW. Diggers may only take 15 razor clams a day and must take the first 15 clams collected.
More information on razor clam digging can be found at the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife’s website.