Time to dust off those clam shovels.
The state Department of Fish & Wildlife has tentatively scheduled a razor-clam dig in mid-October – the first of the fall season — while continuing to accept public comments on future digs.
The first dig of the season will get under way Oct. 13 at four ocean beaches, provided upcoming marine toxin tests show the clams are safe to eat.
Fish & Wildlife will announce final approval of that plan about a week before the dig is set to start, said Dan Ayres, the agency’s coastal shellfish manager.
“We’re still in the process of determining additional fall and winter digging opportunities, but we wanted to give people a chance to start making plans for October,” said Ayres, noting that Fish & Wildlife will announce additional razor-clam digs later that month.
Proposed digging days and evening low tides for beaches tentatively scheduled to open in October are:
• Oct. 13 (Saturday), 5:41 pm, (+0.3 ft.); Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks
• Oct. 14 (Sunday), 6:26 pm, (-0.5 ft.); Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks
• Oct. 15 (Monday), 7:11 pm, (-1.1 ft.); Long Beach, Twin Harbors
• Oct. 16 (Tuesday), 7:57 pm, (-1.5 ft.); Twin Harbors
• Oct. 17 (Wednesday), 8:44 pm, (-1.6 ft.); Twin Harbors
• Oct. 18 (Thursday), 9:34 pm, (-1.4 ft.); Twin Harbors
“Low tides will occur relatively late in the day, so diggers need be prepared for darkness during evening digs in the fall,” Ayres said.
All diggers age 15 or older must have an applicable 2012-13 fishing license to harvest razor clams on any beach. Licenses, ranging from a three-day razor clam license to an annual combination fishing license, are available on WDFW’s website at https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov and from license vendors around the state.
Under state law, each digger can take 15 razor clams per day, and must keep the first 15 clams they dig to prevent wastage. Each digger’s clams must be kept in a separate container.
Meanwhile, Fish & Wildlife will continue to accept public comments through Oct. 9 on digging days and other management options for the upcoming razor clam season. For more information, check the department’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/razorclams/seasons_set.html.