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State Officials Open Up Areas of Washington Coast to Crabbing, Razor Clams

Published 12/19/2019 at 5:35 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

State Officials Open Up Areas of Washington Coast to Crabbing, Razor Clams

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(Long Beach, Washington) – Good news is in store for Washington coast clam diggers and crabbers as Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has opened up some areas to crabbing and recreational razor clam digging. (Photo above at Copalis, courtesy WDFW's Dan Ayres).

When it comes to digging for razor clams along the Washington coast, WDFW has declared clam diggers can return to ocean beaches for five days of digging beginning December 23 and continuing through December 29 with a break in the middle for the Christmas holiday.

State shellfish managers with WDFW approved the dig on evening low tides after marine toxin tests showed the clams are safe to eat.

The approved dig is for the following Washington coast beaches, dates and low tides:

December 23, Monday, 4:35 pm, -0.4 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
December 26, Thursday, 6:47 pm, -1.1 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
December 27, Friday, 7:26 pm, -0.9 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
December 28, Saturday, 8:05 pm, -0.6 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
December 29, Sunday, 8:43 pm, -0.2 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
No digging is allowed before noon for allowed digs, when low tide occurs in the evening.

For a list of proposed razor clam digs on Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis and Mocrocks beaches through February, see the razor clam webpage.

In order to ensure conservation of clams for future generations, WDFW sets tentative razor clam seasons that are based on the results from an annual coast-wide razor clam stock assessment and by considering harvest to date. WDFW authorizes each dig independently after getting the results of marine toxin testing. Final approval of the tentatively scheduled openings will depend on whether results of marine toxin tests show the clams are safe to eat.

See WDFW's website at https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov for more and on licenses needed.

The WDFW announced that two additional marine areas of Puget Sound will re-open for recreational crab fishing and remain open through January 31, 2020.

The portion of Marine Area 9 between the Hood Canal Bridge and a line from Foulweather Bluff to Olele Point (Port Gamble, Port Ludlow) and the portion of Marine Area 12 (Hood Canal) north of a line projected due east from Ayock Point will open on December 20 and remain open through January 31, 2020.

After recent test data, state and tribal co-managers agree that the crab numbers in these areas can support additional harvest.

Anglers 15 years and older must have a current Washington shellfish or combination license valid through March 31, 2020, to participate. Licenses can be purchased by telephone at 1-866-246-9453, at https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov, or at hundreds of license vendors across the state.


In addition to the opening of the portions of Marine Areas 9 and 12 described above, crabbing opportunities are now available in the following areas:

· Marine Area 4 east of the Bonilla-Tatoosh line (through Dec. 31)

· Marine Area 5 (Sekiu) (through Dec. 31)

· Marine Area 6 (East Juan de Fuca Strait) (through Dec. 31)

· Marine Area 7 (San Juans, Bellingham, Gulf of Georgia) (through Dec. 31)

· The remaining portion of Marine Area 9 (Admiralty Inlet) (through Dec. 31)

· Marine Area 8-1 (Deception Pass, Hope Island, and Skagit Bay) (through Jan. 31 2020)

· Marine Area 8-2 (Port Susan and Port Gardner) (through Jan. 31 2020)

See https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfishing-regulations/crab for full information.

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