Fishing

State announces tentative dates for first razor clam dig of the season

The state has announced tentative dates for the first razor clam dig of the season. If marine toxin tests show clams are safe to eat, Copalis will be open on Dec. 24-26.
The state has announced tentative dates for the first razor clam dig of the season. If marine toxin tests show clams are safe to eat, Copalis will be open on Dec. 24-26. Staff file, 2015

The first razor clam dig of the delayed season will take place Dec. 24-26 on evening tides at Copalis Beach, if tests show clams are safe to eat.

The season, which typically opens in October, has been delayed because domoic acid levels have been too high. Eating clams, and other seafood, with high levels of domoic acid can lead to illness, and even death.

The state Department of Fish and Wildlife announced the opening late Friday.

“Results from Copalis have met state health standards after two rounds of testing,” said Dan Ayres, coastal shellfish manager.

If not for unfavorable surf conditions, digging would have been allowed last weekend, Ayres added.

Test results from Copalis posted Nov. 23 showed levels at 14 parts per million. The safety threshold is 20 ppm.

Other recent results were: Long Beach, Dec. 1, 25 ppm; Twin Harbors, Nov. 23, 36 ppm; Mocrocks, Nov. 23, 24 ppm. Kalaloch will not open this season because of low clam numbers.

As a reminder, state law allows diggers to take 15 razor clams per day, and diggers must keep the first 15 they dig. Each digger’s clams must be kept in a separate container. Diggers may not harvest any part of another person’s daily limit, unless they possess a designated harvester card.

All diggers age 15 or older must have a 2015-16 fishing license to harvest razor clams. Licenses, ranging from a three-day razor clam license to an annual combination fishing license, are available at fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov and from license vendors around the state.

Jeffrey P. Mayor: 253-597-8640

Tentative digging schedule

If clams are safe to eat, here are the low tide times for the upcoming dig at Copalis:

Dec. 24: 5:47 p.m., -1.2 feet.

Dec. 25: 6:30 p.m., -1.3 feet.

Dec. 26: 7:12 p.m., -1.1 feet.

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