January 2021 Razor Clam Update

For all those that have asked the Razor Clam Society about the status of the razor clam season, we provide to you the most recent update below from Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

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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 01/11/2021.

Long Beach Area E (north):

•             domoic acid =   45 ppm

•             PSP = none detected

•             DSP = none detected

Twin Harbors Area CL (middle):

•             domoic acid =   43 ppm

•             PSP = none detected

•             DSP = none detected

Copalis Area K (south)

•             domoic acid =   28 ppm

•             PSP = none detected

•             DSP = none detected

Copalis Area XL (middle)

•             domoic acid =   25 ppm

•             PSP = none detected

•             DSP = none detected

Copalis Area GS (north)

•             domoic acid =   27 ppm

•             PSP = none detected

•             DSP = none detected

Mocrocks Area CP (middle)

•             domoic acid =   36 ppm

•             PSP = none detected

•             DSP = none detected

Mocrocks Area MP (north)

•             domoic acid =   25 ppm

•             PSP = none detected

•             DSP = none detected

As we reported in December, razor clams are following the historical pattern of slowly depurating (losing) domoic acid. We also are observing the levels “bounce around” some, 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. 

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.

3 More Digs Approved!

According to an email received from Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife (WDFW) Coastal Shellfish Manager, Dan Ayres, 3 (that’s THREE) more days of razor clam digging have been approved, adding to the 4 previously approved dig dates that were announced.

Today was the 2020-2021 razor clamming season opener. The weather was warm and amazing out on the beach. Winds were light… the clams were digging deep and fast and put up a good fight.

Be sure to share your stories and experiences digging clams with us. #razorclamsociety @razorclamsociety

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

AM TIDES ONLY

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

PM TIDES ONLY

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

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

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

Be sure to share your stories and experiences digging clams with us. #razorclamsociety @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.

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

2020 WDFW Hunting Prospects Now Available

In an effort to keep outdoor enthusiasts up to date on some of the most recent developments with Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife, we encourage you to review the 2020 Hunting Prospects publication that is now available HERE.

Get outdoors and enjoy!

Have an excellent Labor Day Weekend!

Guest Editor Provides Tips for Outdoor Recreation

Safety Tips for Taking a Socially-Distant Adventure in Your Nearby Woods

By Jason Lewis

Image via Pexels

The COVID-19 pandemic has turned the routines of millions of Americans upside down. One significant way it has done this is through governmental orders to stay at home. 

While abiding by social distancing guidelines is critical to stopping the spread of COVID-19, being quarantined indoors for months on end can raise significant physical, mental, and emotional health concerns. In short, people need to spend time outdoors. And besides the backyard, the nearby woods is the only option for most families across the country. This means recreational activities like hiking, camping, and mountain biking are a saving grace. If you’re new to one or all of these activities, consider this advice for staying safe and enjoying your time.

Hiking 

As with the other activities listed here, it’s important to have the right equipment when you go hiking. Be sure to bring plenty of water and food, the right clothes, a compass, and a map, and research any other items you might want to bring. 

Before you head out, research the area where you will be hiking, especially if you don’t know much about local poisonous plants, wild animals, and hunting zones. Also, try to schedule your hikes during the day, look at the weather forecast, and remember to stay together, especially if you have young children. Nothing can ruin a nice, refreshing hike like losing sight of your kids.

Camping

You will need many of the same essentials for camping as you would for hiking. However, there are some camping-specific items that can make your venture safer and more enjoyable. For example, a quality headlamp can allow you to see better at night and perform tasks with both hands. With headlamps, it’s important to find one that is waterproof, bright, and comfortable to wear. It’s also important to get a reliable tent, sleeping bags, first-aid kit, and cooler. 

If your family goes camping, be sure to stay hydrated and inform yourself of any poisonous plants and potentially dangerous animals. Keep your campsite clean so that it doesn’t attract unwanted guests (e.g., bears, raccoons, etc.), and never leave a fire burning without someone there to watch it. You’ll also want to confirm local rules and regulations as many areas restrict fires at 2500 feet and above. Moreover, if you plan on using a propane stove, be sure to follow all the general safety guidelines. For example, only run the propane when you are lighting the stove, and make sure you know how the ignition switch works.

Mountain Biking

Along with getting the right kind of bikes for each family member, you want to make sure everyone has the protection they need. Depending on the age of your kids, this may mean investing in helmets, elbow/knee pads, and other protective gear. Generally speaking, adults and kids alike should always wear a helmet.

If your kids are fairly new to riding bikes, wait until they have a firm grasp on the basic skills and knowledge required. And when you do decide to take them along, ride on any trails you’re considering taking them on beforehand so that you know the terrain. This will help you determine which trails are good for your children and which ones are too difficult.

These days, venturing into your nearby wooded areas is really the only option when it comes to vacation and leisure time away from home. Consider going hiking, camping, and/or mountain biking, and do your research to make sure you have all the gear you need and that you take all the necessary safety precautions. In no time, your entire family will be experiencing the wide array of benefits that come with spending time in the great outdoors.

Jason Lewis is a personal trainer, who specializes in helping senior citizens stay fit and healthy. He is also the primary caretaker of his mom after her surgery. He created StrongWell.org and enjoys curating fitness programs that cater to the needs of people over 65.

Updated: Big News for Bivalve Hunters

Press Release from Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife:

Recreational clam, mussel, and oyster fishery scheduled to open June 8 on most Puget Sound and Strait of Juan de Fuca beaches

OLYMPIA – Most beaches in Puget Sound and the Strait of Juan de Fuca are scheduled to open for recreational clam, mussel, and oyster harvest on June 8, while other areas will open later in the summer as previously planned by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). Opening this year has taken longer than expected due to COVID-19 related challenges and public health considerations, said Camille Speck, Puget Sound intertidal bivalve manager for WDFW.

“It took a lot of coordination, but we are happy to have found a way to work with communities and access managers to provide harvest opportunity and the enjoyment that comes from a day out on the beach,” said Speck. “We are also happy to announce some season shifts and extensions on a number of beaches to help make up for  opportunity lost during the unprecedented coronavirus closures.”

The approved dates reflect a conscious effort to offer harvest while still abiding by public health recommendations, such as keeping participants distributed, allowing physical distancing, limiting travel and discouraging overnight stays, she added.

WDFW is asking for cooperation from shellfish harvesters to reduce risk. “Patience and courtesy will be needed at public access sites,” said Speck. Because some popular parks are operating with reduced staffing and may have limitations on parking, harvesters should check for current conditions at the park they intend to visit and adhere to health authorities’ advice for physical distancing.

Clam, mussel, and oyster harvesting seasons are beach specific in Puget Sound. Harvesters are encouraged to check current seasons at wdfw.wa.gov/places-to-go/shellfish-beaches. In addition, water quality conditions may change quickly. All harvesters should check the Department of Health status for the site they intend to harvest the same day they plan to harvest. Harvest seasons and current health advisories and closures are available via the state’s Shellfish Safety Map at www.doh.wa.gov/shellfishsafety.

2020 Puget Sound clam, mussel, and oyster season changes and extensions. The following reflect adjustments from original 2020 seasons to make up for opportunity lost during the Stay Home, Stay Healthy-related closure:

  • Ala Spit County Park: clams, mussels, and oysters open Aug. 1-31.
  • Belfair State Park: clams, mussels, and oysters open two weeks early on July 15 and remain open through Dec. 31.
  • Dosewallips State Park: opens June 8 for clam, mussel and oyster harvest. Clams and mussels close Sept. 30. Oysters remain open through December 31.
  • Eagle Creek: opens June 8 for clam, mussel and oyster harvest. Clam and mussel seasons are extended by two weeks to close on Sept. 15. Oysters remain open through Dec. 31.
  • Frye Cove County Park: clams, mussels, and oysters open Aug. 1-31.
  • Hope Island State Park: clams, mussels, and oysters open Aug. 1-31.
  • Point Whitney Tidelands and Point Whitney Lagoon: open June 8 for clam, mussel and oyster harvest. Clams and mussels close June 30. Oysters remain open through Aug. 31.
  • Port Gamble Heritage Park Tidelands: clams, mussels, and oysters open two weeks early on July 1 and remain open through December 31.
  • Potlatch State Park and Potlatch DNR: clams, mussels, and oysters open June 8 and seasons are extended for two months to remain open through Sept. 30.
  • Sequim Bay State Park: clams, mussels, and oysters open June 8 and are extended by two weeks to close on July 15.
  • Triton Cove Tidelands: opens June 8 for clam, mussel and oyster harvest. Clam and mussel seasons are extended by two weeks to close on Sept. 15. Oysters remain open through December 31.
  • Twanoh State Park: Clams and mussels OPEN August 15, 2020 through September 30, 2020 only. Oysters open June 8 through December 31.
  • Marine Area 4 remains closed until further notice.

All other public beaches revert to the original 2020 season rules, which vary by beach and are displayed on the WDFW website and the Department of Health shellfish safety map.

In all areas of Puget Sound, harvesters are limited to the daily bag limit of up to 40 clams, not to exceed 10 pounds in the shell, and 18 oysters per person, removed from the shell on the beach and shells left at the same approximate tide height where they were harvested. Shucked oyster shells provide critical habitat for young oysters.

A valid 2020-21 combination license, shellfish license, or Fish Washington license is required to participate in the fishery.

A two page copy of current clam, mussel, and oyster seasons may be printed from the link at the top of the website page wdfw.wa.gov/places-to-go/shellfish-beaches. A printable shellfish identification chart is also available in the same website location.

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.

Today’s announcement does not open additional razor clam digging days on the coast.

For the latest updates on WDFW’s response to the coronavirus, visit https://wdfw.wa.gov/about/covid-19-updates.

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. 

Razor Clam Update

[via email from Dan Ayres, Coastal Shellfish Manager, Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife] Emphasis editor’s own.

There will be no additional razor clam harvest openings until sometime in the fall of 2020. Conflicting information in local media reports and on various social media platforms has created some level of confusion.

Coastal Shellfish Manager, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Region Six

The last few days,  WDFW has been working with both Grays Harbor County and Pacific County regarding the possibility of allowing some razor clam harvest before the season ends on May 31. However, yesterday the Governor’s Office informed WDFW that because large razor clam crowds constitute a gathering under the Stay Home—Stay Healthy order. This order has been extended to May 31st, so razor clam digs and similar large gatherings are not allowed at this time.

WDFW is now focusing on a what we expect will be a great 2020-21 season and will start the field work for our summer-long razor clam population assessments very soon.