LEE HORTON’S OUTDOORS: More razor clam dates added

By Lee Horton
Peninsula Daily News

IF YOU’RE READING this, you have officially survived another Christmas.

Congratulations.

Now what?

Well, the razor clam digs keep coming.

The dig tentatively scheduled for the last three days of 2013 has not only been approved, it has been more than doubled.

Following marine toxin tests that showed the razor clams safe to eat, the state Department of Fish and Wildlife had approved a dig that begins this Sunday and lasts through the following Sunday, Jan. 5.

As in recent months, these digs are scheduled on evening tides, and no digging will be allowed on any beach before noon.

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

■ Sunday, Dec. 29: 4:05 p.m.; -0.2 feet; Twin Harbors, Long Beach, Mocrocks and Copalis.

■ Monday, Dec. 30: 4:55 p.m.; -0.9 feet; Twin Harbors, Long Beach, Mocrocks and Copalis.

■ Tuesday, Dec. 31: 5:42 p.m.; -1.4 feet; Twin Harbors, Long Beach, Mocrocks and Copalis.

■ Wednesday, Jan. 1: 6:29 p.m.; -1.7 feet; Twin Harbors, Long Beach and Mocrocks.

■ Thursday, Jan. 2: 7:15 p.m.; -1.7 feet; Twin Harbors, Long Beach and Mocrocks.

■ Friday, Jan. 3: 8 p.m.; -1.4 feet; Twin Harbors, Long Beach and Mocrocks.

■ Saturday, Jan. 4: 8:45 p.m.; -0.9 feet; Twin Harbors, Long Beach, Mocrocks and Copalis.

■ Sunday, Jan. 5: 9:31 p.m.; -0.2 feet; Twin Harbors.

The state also has announced its dig schedule for January and February.

If the clams remain safe to eat, then various beaches will be open to razor clam harvest for 13 days in January and five days in February.

Along with the five days at the start of January, digs are slated for Wednesday, Jan. 15 through Saturday, Jan. 18; Tuesday, Jan. 29 through Sunday, Feb. 2; and a Wednesday-to-Friday dig Feb. 26-28.

“We’re announcing these dates now so people can start making plans for the new year,” Dan Ayres, state coastal shellfish manager, said in a news release.

“We’ve had a terrific season so far, and expect plenty of great digging in the months ahead.”

“Terrific season” might even be an understatement.

In last Thursday’s column, fishing tackle wholesaler and former fishery biologist Ward Norden said, “I have talked to people who have been razor clam digging. They have not seen this many razor clams in years, and some don’t recall ever seeing them this large in winter.”

Norden said this razor clam success tells a much larger story that should have a happy ending for anglers in the upcoming seasons.

“This is a great indication that our end of the Pacific Ocean is hitting on all cylinders, as far as ecosystem productivity is concerned,” he said.

“I am now convinced next summer’s record Puget Sound humpy run will be even bigger than I thought. Next fall’s coastal coho run, and next winter’s steelhead run will be outstanding.”

It’s important to note that the native humpy run coming back in record numbers might not mean much, though, since humpies are usually only open to fishing in odd years when the non-native pinks make their run through the Strait of Juan de Fuca and beyond.

________

Sports Editor Lee Horton can be reached at 360-417-3525 or at lhorton@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: December 25. 2013 5:17PM
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