The first razor clam dig of the season at Long Beach Sept. 27-29 drew 18,900 digger trips with just under a limit recorded per trip, according to Department of Fish and Wildlife Coastal Shellfish Manager Dan Ayres.
“It was a big crowd of diggers,” he said. “Success was high for most everyone.”
Clams were on the small side, as expected, averaging about 3.8 inches.
“These clams will continue to grow and that will be noticeable in the months ahead,” said Ayres.
Ayres was with his crew collecting catch and effort data Sept. 28 and was “impressed with how many people thanked us for the chance to get out and dig, and surprisingly there were actually very few complaints about the small size of the clams.”
The total recorded harvest was 281,800 clams, said Ayres. That included 19,700 clams in wastage.
“In our checks on Saturday we did find areas with significant numbers of wastage clams,” said Ayres. Wastage clams are those dug up but not kept by diggers. “We will keep an eye on that and hope folks will remember to keep the first 15 clams they dig, regardless of their size or condition.”
Long Beach is scheduled to open for another dig Oct. 26, along with Twin Harbors and Copalis beaches. The first dig at Mocrocks is tentatively scheduled for Oct. 27.
“We plan to collect the final sample of razor clams for (Department of Health) biotoxin testing on Oct. 17 and hope to have the results early the next week and be able to give folks the green light for the next set of dates,” said Ayres.
If the toxin tests come back showing clams are safe to eat, the following digs are scheduled:
• Oct. 26, Saturday, 5:59 p.m., 0.0 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
• Oct. 27, Sunday, 6:47 p.m., -0.8 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
• Oct. 28, Monday, 7:33 p.m., -1.2 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
• Oct. 29, Tuesday, 8:18 p.m., -1.4 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
• Oct. 30, Wednesday, 9:03 p.m., -1.2 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
• Oct. 31, Thursday, 9:50 p.m., -0.8 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
• Nov. 1, Friday, 10:38 p.m., -0.2 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
Note these are all evening tides. No digging is allowed on beaches open for evenings tides before noon.