Fall razor clam season starts Sept. 19

The fall razor clam season is getting an early start this year with an evening dig set for Sept. 19-23 at Twin Harbors beach.

The state Department of Fish & Wildlife approved the dig after marine toxin tests showed the clams were safe to eat.

The full fall schedule is still in development, but Coastal Shellfish Manager Dan Ayres said fishery managers saw no reason to delay approving a dig at Twin Harbors.

“We have a huge number of clams available for harvest this season — particularly at Twin Harbors,” Ayres said in a press release. “There are only so many good clamming tides during the year, and we decided there was no time to waste in getting started.”

Digging will be allowed on the beach, extending from the mouth of Willapa Bay north to the South Jetty at the mouth of Grays Harbor, from noon to midnight each day of the dig. Ayres recommends arriving one to two hours before the evening low tide for the best results.

Low tides for the upcoming dig:

• Thursday, Sept. 19, 7:13 p.m., -0.3 feet

• Friday, Sept. 20, 7:57 p.m., -0.5 feet

• Saturday, Sept. 21, 8:39 p.m., -0.5 feet

• Sunday, Sept. 22, 9:21 p.m., -0.3 feet

• Monday, Sept. 23, 10:04 p.m., 0.0 feet

Clam diggers are limited to 15 razor clams per day, and are required to keep the first 15 clams they dig. Each digger’s clams must be kept in a separate container.

To participate, diggers age 15 or older must have an applicable 2013-14 fishing license to harvest razor clams on any beach. Licenses are available online (https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov/), by phone (1-866-320-9933) and from license dealers around the state.

Ayres said the department will announce a digging schedule for all state razor clam beaches in the next few weeks, after the public has had a chance to comment on the department’s annual stock assessment and plans for the upcoming season. That report is posted on Fish & Wildlife’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/razorclams/seasons_set.html.

State shellfish managers will discuss those plans at a public meeting Sept. 19 at 6 p.m. at the City of Long Beach Depot, located at 102 Third St., NW. Written comments can be submitted to razorclams@dfw.wa.gov through Sept. 30.