OUTDOORS: Moon a boon to razor clam harvest

By Michael Carman
Peninsula Daily News

BUCKETS PILED WITH water and sand-squirting clams were a great source of amusement when I was a small child.

Honestly, they would still make me laugh today.

Clamming was one of the true outdoors activities I participated in as a kid, although I don’t recall doing much digging.

I didn’t eat the prepared clams either as my food palate at the time ran more toward Campbell’s soup, pizza with the cheese and other toppings removed and broccoli with ketchup.

A razor clam opening is currently underway or will open Friday at three ocean beaches, Twin Harbors, Long Beach and Mocrocks.

Evening digs continue through Saturday then a seasonal switch to morning tides early Sunday.

Dan Ayres, state Department of Fish and Wildlife coastal shellfish manager, said the switch from evening to morning digs reflects the moon’s seasonal effect on the tides.

“It gets a little tricky scheduling digs at this time of year, but the goal is to arrange openings during the best clam tides,” Ayres said.

“The split schedule also provides an opportunity for back-to-back digs the evening of Saturday and the morning of Sunday.”

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

■ Today: 4:48 p.m.; 0.1 feet; Twin Harbors.

■ Friday: 5:38 p.m.; 0.0 feet; Twin Harbors, Long Beach and Mocrocks.

■ Saturday: 6:23 p.m.; 0.0 feet; Twin Harbors, Long Beach and Mocrocks

Seasonal switch to morning tides

■ Sunday: 6:53 a.m.; -0.1 feet; Twin Harbors, Long Beach and Mocrocks.

■ Monday: 7:39 a.m.; -0.5 feet; Twin Harbors and Long Beach.

■ Tuesday: 8:22 a.m.; -0.7 feet; Twin Harbors and Long Beach.

■ Wednesday: 9:05 a.m.; -0.6 feet; Twin Harbors and Long Beach.

■ Thursday, April 3: 9:49 a.m.; -0.3 feet; Twin Harbors and Long Beach.

Keep the first 15 clams

Under state law, diggers can take 15 razor clams per day and are required to keep the first 15 they dig.

Each digger’s clams must be kept in a separate container.

Starting Tuesday, all diggers age 15 or older must have an applicable 2014-15 fishing license to harvest razor clams on any beach.

Licenses range from a three-day razor clam license to an annual combination fishing license and are available at a variety of sporting goods, hardware and assorted outfitters here on the North Olympic Peninsula and also on the Fish and Wildlife website at

More digs are tentatively set for April 14-20, watch this space for information when they are approved.

Avoid that long drive

While razor clams aren’t an option for sport clammers at Sequim Bay State Park, clams will be in season beginning Tuesday.

Butter and native littleneck clams are the main quarry here.

A state Discover Pass is required and a new 2014-15 shellfish license will be needed at Sequim Bay State Park.

To search Fish and Wildlife’s website for more clamming opportunities visit wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/beaches/.

COASST training

This beach-oriented column continues with a plea for beach walkers and birders interested in collecting data for the Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey Team, or COASST.

COASST is a citizen science project dedicated to involving volunteers in the collection of high-quality data on the status of coastal beaches, and trends of seabirds.

Volunteers systematically count and identify bird carcasses that wash ashore along ocean beaches from northern California to Alaska.

No experience with birds is required just a commitment to survey a specific beach, typically about 3/4 miles in length, each month.

A six-hour COASST training is planned for the Clallam County Courthouse Commissioners Meeting Room No. 160, 223 E. Fourth St., in Port Angeles, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 5.

Attendees will hear how COASST started, learn how to use the custom Beached Birds field guide, and try out their new skills with some actual specimens.

A $20 refundable deposit will provide prospective helpers with a COASST volunteer kit and Beached Birds field guide.

A lunch break is included in the training session.

To reserve your spot at the training email
coasst@uw.edu or phone 206-221-6893.

Those unable to attend can get more information from www.coasst.org or by phoning 206-221-6893 for additional information on upcoming events and trainings.

High school regatta

High school sailing returns to Port Angeles Harbor on Saturday with a Northwest Interscholastic Sailing Association regatta.

Sailors from high schools throughout the state west of the Cascade mountains will compete for the chance to hoist the Northwest Interscholastic Sailing Association’s High School Olympic Cup.

The first race is scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m., weather permitting.

The event is free and open to the public. Racing may be viewed from the Port Angeles Yacht Club located at 1305 Marine Drive.

For more information contact Port Angeles Yacht Club Commodore Randy Volker at regatta@payc.org or 619-884-4599.


Outdoors columnist Michael Carman appears here Thursdays and Fridays. He can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5152 or at mcarman@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: March 26. 2014 6:12PM
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