2021-2022 Shellfishing Licenses

Save the date: March 31 is the date all 2020-2021 annual shellfishing licenses expire. New licenses are on sale April 1. Get your annual shellfishing license and enjoy all the other shellfishing activities that are possible around WA State, including the Puget Sound and beyond.

Surf Zone Phytoplankton Assemblages

Say what?… Below is the “Ides of March” update from Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). We continue to keep you updated with the best information on recreational razor clamming in WA State.

If you like what we do, drop a comment, donate, or pick up a cool Razor Clam Society T-Shirt (available in S,M,L,XL,XXL).

RECREATIONAL RAZOR CLAM UPDATE, March 15, 2021: The most recent razor clam domoic acid test results look a little more encouraging than what we have seen to date. The details are below. However, no future razor clam dates will be announced until domoic acid levels in razor clams drop below the action level. We plan to collect the next set of samples at the end of March and will have a clearer picture then if any digging might occur in April or May.

MARINE TOXIN UPDATE:

Listed below are the most recent marine toxin levels, as announced by the Washington Department of Health (WDOH).  To see previous results, see the web link below.

Recall, before a beach can be opened for the harvest of razor clams, WDOH protocol requires that all razor clam samples collected from that beach must test under the action level (20 ppm for domoic acid; 80 µg/100g for PSP; and 16 µg/100g for DSP) on both of two required sample collections, that must be spaced 7 to 10 days apart. The results must also show a declining trend between samples.

Note that in all these samples; only razor clam meat tissue is tested.

Long Beach Area E (north): Collected 3/10/21

·                     domoic acid =   26 ppm

·                     PSP = none detected

·                     DSP = none detected

Twin Harbors Area CL (middle): Collected 3/10/21

·                     domoic acid =   31 ppm

·                     PSP = none detected

·                     DSP = none detected

Copalis Area XL (middle): Collected 3/10/21

·                     domoic acid =   22 ppm

·                     PSP = none detected

·                     DSP = none detected

Mocrocks Area CP (middle): Collected 3/10/21

·                     domoic acid =   19 ppm

·                     PSP = none detected

·                     DSP = none detected

Over-all, Washington razor clams continue to follow the historical pattern of slowly depurating (losing) domoic acid and for the last several months we have observed the levels “bounce around” considerably. As we have previous described, this is a result the individual 12 clams we randomly harvest when we are collecting samples. However, the report above shows some nice declines on all beaches. If you are interested, you can check out the historical domoic acid data at the link below.

These results and the historical record of domoic acid events can be found at: https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/basics/domoic-acid/levels  (click on “show historical data”) and then hover your curser over the data points for more detail).

Along with sampling collecting razor clam every two week, WDFW together with our colleagues in the ORHAB (Olympic Region Harmful Algal Bloom) partnership continue on-going observations of the surf zone phytoplankton assemblages.

WDFW Update on Razor Clam Digs

Below is an update on razor clamming and the marine toxin situation from Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

———-

RECREATIONAL RAZOR CLAM UPDATE: No future razor clam dates will be announced until domoic acid levels in razor clams drop below the action level. We have no projections of when that might be. However, we do know that in three of the four major domoic acid events that occurred in the fall (1991-92, 1997-98 and 2002-03), domoic acid levels in razor clams remained elevated through the end of the season.

We will continue to test every two weeks. To see previous results, see the web link below.

MARINE TOXIN UPDATE:

Listed below are the most recent marine toxin levels, as announced by the Washington Department of Health (WDOH).

Recall, before a beach can be opened for the harvest of razor clams, WDOH protocol requires that all razor clam samples collected from that beach must test under the action level (20 ppm for domoic acid; 80 µg/100g for PSP; and 16 µg/100g for DSP) on both of two required sample collections, that must be spaced 7 to 10 days apart.

Note that in all these samples; only razor clam meat tissue is tested.

Long Beach Area E (north): Collected 2/24/21

·                     domoic acid =   57 ppm

·                     PSP = none detected

·                     DSP = none detected

Twin Harbors Area CL (middle): Collected 2/23/21

·                     domoic acid =   39 ppm

·                     PSP = none detected

·                     DSP = none detected

Copalis Area XL (middle): Collected 2/23/21

·                     domoic acid =   26 ppm

·                     PSP = none detected

·                     DSP = none detected

Mocrocks Area BC (middle): Collected 2/23/21

·                     domoic acid =   29 ppm

·                     PSP = none detected

·                     DSP = none detected

As you can see, Washington razor clams continue to follow the historical pattern of slowly depurating (losing) domoic acid. The hope for getting a chance to dig any time soon is fading. We also are observing the levels “bounce around” considerably, as they have in past events. This is a result the individual 12 clams we harvest when we are collecting samples. The toxin “load” can vary greatly between individual clams. The laboratory protocol requires the clams to be cleaned and then the meat from all 12 (per area) are blended together. Then a sample of that mixture is analyzed and one result is reported for that area.  If you are interested, you can check out the historical domoic acid data at the link below.

These results and the historical record of domoic acid events can be found at: https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/basics/domoic-acid/levels  (click on “show historical data”) and then hover your curser over the data points for more detail).

Along with sampling collecting razor clam every two week, WDFW together with our colleagues in the ORHAB (Olympic Region Harmful Algal Bloom) partnership continue on-going observations of the surf zone phytoplankton assemblages. 

Algae Blob Redux

A concerned Razor Clam Society follower inquired as follows:

“With closures in WA and, as far as I can tell, all of the OR coast as well as even CA, I was wondering if anyone has access to historical records to see how widespread the acid problem can be – namely if it’s ever been documented along all coasts simultaneously before.  I do have access through WDFW to WA history but am wondering about the other states.”

This 2015 article from the Seattle Times describes the last Massive Oceanic Algae Bloom (MOAB) [our acronym]. Mother of all Algae Blooms….. You decide…

In response, Dan Ayres, Coastal Shellfish Manager for WDFW confirms that, “We are sampling every two weeks as low tides and surf conditions allow. The most recent samples were collected on 2/23 and 2/24 with results due sometime early next week.”

We encourage readers to continue to ask questions and we will seek responses that inform.

Toxic Clam Alert

This just in from Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife

RECREATIONAL RAZOR CLAM UPDATE: No future razor clam dates will be announced until domoic acid levels in razor clams drop below the action level. We have no projections of when that might be. However, we do know that in three of the four major domoic acid events that occurred in the fall (1991-92, 1997-98 and 2002-03),  domoic acid levels in razor clams remained evaluated through the end of the season.

We will continue to test every two weeks. To see previous results, see the web link below.

MARINE TOXIN UPDATE:

Listed below are the most recent marine toxin levels, as announced by the Washington Department of Health (WDOH).

Recall, before a beach can be opened for the harvest of razor clams, WDOH protocol requires that all razor clam samples collected from that beach must test under the action level (20 ppm for domoic acid; 80 µg/100g for PSP; and 16 µg/100g for DSP) on both of two required sample collections, that must be spaced 7 to 10 days apart.

Note that in all these samples; only razor clam meat tissue is tested.

These samples were all collected on 02/08/2021.

Long Beach Area E (north):

·                     domoic acid =   56 ppm

·                     PSP = none detected

·                     DSP = none detected

Twin Harbors Area CL (middle):

·                     domoic acid =   49 ppm

·                     PSP = none detected

·                     DSP = none detected

Copalis Area K (south)

·                     domoic acid =   50 ppm

·                     PSP = none detected

·                     DSP = none detected

Copalis Area XL (middle)

·                     domoic acid =   28 ppm

·                     PSP = none detected

·                     DSP = none detected

Copalis Area GS (north)

·                     domoic acid =   23 ppm

·                     PSP = none detected

·                     DSP = none detected

Mocrocks Area CP (middle)

·                     domoic acid =   19 ppm

·                     PSP = none detected

·                     DSP = none detected

Mocrocks Area MP (north)

•              domoic acid =   34 ppm

•              PSP = none detected

•              DSP = none detected

The story remains the same, razor clams are following the historical pattern of slowly depurating (losing) domoic acid. We also are observing the levels “bounce around” considerably, as they have in past events. This is a result the individual 12 clams we harvest when we are collecting samples. The toxin “load” can vary greatly between individual clams. The laboratory protocol requires the clams to be cleaned and then the meat from all 12 (per area) are blended together. Then a sample of that mixture is analyzed and one result is reported for that area.  If you are interested, you can check out the historical domoic acid data at the link below.

These results and the historical record of domoic acid events can be found at: https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/basics/domoic-acid/levels  (click on “show historical data”) and then hover your curser over the data points for more detail).

Along with sampling collecting razor clam every two week, WDFW together with our colleagues in the ORHAB (Olympic Region Harmful Algal Bloom) partnership continue on-going observations of the surf zone phytoplankton assemblages. 

with our colleagues in the ORHAB (Olympic Region Harmful Algal Bloom) partnership continue on-going observations of the surf zone phytoplankton assemblages. 

6 Days of Digging Approved

Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife (WDFW) has approved a 6 day dig.

The official press release announcing the approved digs by WDFW is on the agency’s website.

Make sure you have a valid clamming license for the 2020-2021 season.

Check the Beach Map to ensure you are on the correct approved beach.

Upcoming digs are scheduled on the following dates, beaches and low tides:

  • Oct. 16, Friday, 7:00 pm, -0.7; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Oct. 17, Saturday, 7:47 pm, -1.3; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • Oct. 18, Sunday, 8:35 pm, -1.5; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Oct. 19, Monday, 9:24 pm, -1.4; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • Oct. 20, Tuesday, 10:16 pm, -1.0; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Oct. 21, Wednesday, 11:12 pm, -0.5; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis

No digging is allowed before noon.

Get your Razor Clam Society T-shirts here! Free shipping!!!!

The DAILY LIMIT per person is 15 clams, no matter what condition they are in, once removed from the sand. That limit is subject to change. Always check with official sources if you have any questions. Digging BEFORE Noon during the Fall/Winter season on the approved days is not allowed. All diggers age 15 or older must have an applicable fishing license to harvest razor clams on any beach. And, each digger must keep their razor clams in a separate container. Don’t mix your clams. Licenses, ranging from a three-day razor clam license to an annual combination fishing license, are available from license vendors around the state and WDFW’s licensing customer service number at (360) 902-2464.

2020-2021 Razor Clam Season Has Arrived: 4 Days of Digs APPROVED!!!

The Razor Clam Society had a gut feeling that the 2020-2021 razor clam season was about to kick off…. and we are so pleased to announce the following press release from the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife:

This is the season opener we have all been waiting for.

The full press release can be found here.

Make sure you have a valid clamming license for the 2020-2021 season.

As always, the approved dig was only made available to the public because of the hard work that state shellfish managers put in, plus the watchful eye of the Department of Health that conducts the marine toxin tests to ensure clams are safe to eat.

Check the Beach Map to ensure you are on the correct approved beach.

Upcoming digs are scheduled on the following dates, beaches and low tides:

A.M. TIDES:

  • Sept. 16, Wednesday, 6:17 am, -1.0 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • Sept. 17, Thursday, 6:58 am, -1.0 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Sept. 18, Friday, 7:39 am, -0.8 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • Sept. 19, Saturday, 8:19 am, -0.3 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks

No digging is allowed AFTER noon.

Get your Razor Clam Society T-shirts here! Free shipping!!!!

Share your clamming experience with us on the Social Media! #razorclamsociety

The DAILY LIMIT per person is 15 clams, no matter what condition they are in, once removed from the sand. That limit is subject to change. Always check with official sources if you have any questions. Digging BEFORE Noon during the Fall/Winter season on the approved days is not allowed. All diggers age 15 or older must have an applicable fishing license to harvest razor clams on any beach. And, each digger must keep their razor clams in a separate container. Don’t mix your clams. Licenses, ranging from a three-day razor clam license to an annual combination fishing license, are available from license vendors around the state and WDFW’s licensing customer service number at (360) 902-2464.

The following is a list of the tentative digs for the remainder of the calendar year:


P.M. TIDES:

  • Sept. 20, Sunday, 9:43 pm, -0.8 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • Sept. 21, Monday, 10:37 pm, -0.8 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Sept. 22, Tuesday, 11:37 pm, -0.3 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • Oct. 16, Friday, 7:00 pm, -0.7; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Oct. 17, Saturday, 7:47 pm, -1.3; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • Oct. 18, Sunday, 8:35 pm, -1.5; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Oct. 19, Monday, 9:24 pm, -1.4; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • Oct. 20, Tuesday, 10:16 pm, -1.0; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Oct. 21, Wednesday, 11:12 pm, -0.5; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • Oct. 31, Saturday, 7:26 pm, 0.0; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Nov. 1, Sunday, 6:59 pm, -0.1; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Nov. 2, Monday, 7:33 pm, -0.1; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • Nov. 3, Tuesday, 8:08 pm, -0.1; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Nov. 13, Friday, 4:58 pm, -0.3; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Nov. 14, Saturday, 5:45 pm, -1.3; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • Nov. 15, Sunday, 6:32 pm, -1.7; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Nov. 16, Monday, 7:19 pm, -1.8; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • Nov. 17, Tuesday, 8:06 pm, -1.6; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Nov. 18, Wednesday, 8:56 pm, -1.1; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • Nov. 19, Thursday, 9:47 pm, -0.5; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Dec. 1, Tuesday, 7:14 pm, -0.4; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • Dec. 2, Wednesday, 7:51 pm, -0.4; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Dec. 3, Thursday, 8:30 pm, -0.3; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • Dec. 4, Friday, 9:12 pm, -0.1; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Dec. 12, Saturday, 4:44 pm, -0.8; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Dec. 13, Sunday, 5:32 pm, -1.4; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • Dec. 14, Monday, 6:19 pm, -1.7; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Dec. 15, Tuesday, 7:05pm, -1.7; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • Dec. 16, Wednesday, 7:50 pm, -1.5; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Dec. 17, Thursday, 8:35 pm, -1.0; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • Dec. 18, Friday, 9:21 pm, -0.4; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Dec. 28, Monday, 5:43 pm, -0.2; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • Dec. 29, Tuesday, 6:20 pm, -0.5; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
  • Dec. 30, Wednesday, 6:57 pm, -0.7; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
  • Dec. 31, Thursday, 7:34 pm, -0.7; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks

To Angle, or not to Angle…

A Press Release from Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife

May 28, 2020

Anglers can fish for free June 6-7, 2020 
State reminds anglers to continue to recreate responsibly this Free Fishing Weekend

OLYMPIA – Anglers can forget the fishing license June 6-7, but the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is still asking everyone to remember to recreate responsibly for this year’s “Free Fishing Weekend” to keep their communities safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s great to see that based on our conversations with public health officials, conditions are right to be able to continue on the department’s long-standing practice of offering a Free Fishing Weekend,” said Kelly Cunningham, WDFW’s fish program director. “This is about providing everyone an opportunity to give fishing a try—in a safe and responsible way.”

Anglers will need to follow state guidelines and health advice for the COVID-19 pandemic by continuing to recreate in their local communities, traveling only with family or other members of their immediate household, and practicing physical distancing by keeping six feet apart. 

Anglers should check ahead of time if their preferred destination or launch is open. Some local marinas or facilities – including some tribal lands – remain closed, and anglers should be prepared to change plans if their first choice is closed or too congested. 

Before heading out, anglers should also check the current fishing regulations valid June 6 and 7 at https://fortress.wa.gov/dfw/erules/efishrules/. While no licenses are required on Free Fishing Weekend, rules such as size limits, bag limits, catch record card requirements (a fee is required for a halibut catch record card) and area closures will still be in effect. 

Halibut and razor clam harvest on the coast and intertidal shellfish in Puget Sound will remain closed due to continued port closures and concerns about the spread of coronavirus in local communities.  

While non-resident license sales are still suspended, non-residents can participate in Free Fishing Weekend since no license is needed. Anyone participating in Free Fishing Weekend should follow responsible recreation guidelines, which include staying local and fishing as close to home as possible.  

For those who want fishing advice, WDFW’s YouTube page (https://www.youtube.com/thewdfw) provides “how to” fishing videos designed to introduce techniques to both new and seasoned anglers.

Anglers who take part in Free Fishing Weekend can also participate in the department’s 2020 Trout Fishing Derby and redeem blue tags from trout caught over the weekend. Interested anglers should check for details online at https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/contests/trout-derby.  

Anglers will not need a two-pole endorsement to fish with two poles in selected waters where two-pole fishing is permitted. Also, no vehicle access pass or Discover Pass will be required during Free Fishing Weekend to park at water-access sites maintained by WDFW or Washington State Parks. 

It is important to note that a Discover Pass will be required on Washington State Department of Natural Resources’ lands both days. 

In addition, the free “Fish Washington” app, available on Google Play, Apple’s App store and WDFW’s website (https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/regulations/app) is designed to convey up-to-the-minute fishing regulations for every lake, river, stream and marine area in the state.  

Catch record cards, required for some species, are available free (except halibut will still cost $5.50) at hundreds of sporting goods stores and other license dealers throughout the state. See https://wdfw.wa.gov/licenses/dealers on the WDFW website to locate a license dealer. 

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is the state agency tasked with preserving, protecting, and perpetuating fish, wildlife, and ecosystems, while providing sustainable fishing, hunting, and other recreation opportunities.