KALALOCH — At the request of Olympic National Park, the state Department of Fish & Wildlife has canceled razor clam digs scheduled for Kalaloch beach Saturday through Monday.
Lee Taylor, Olympic National Park acting superintendent, said Wednesday the park would be canceling the razor clam digs.
A news release said the decision was due to the government shutdown.
Fish & Wildlife and Olympic National Park co-manage razor clam digs at Kalaloch, which is located within the park.
Fish & Wildlife coastal shellfish manager Dan Ayres said the request came as a result of the government shutdown.
“It’s at the park’s request and clearly an unfortunate consequence of the government shutdown,” Ayres said.
“The park doesn’t have personnel for law enforcement or to collect harvest data at the digs.”
Ayres said Fish & Wildlife offered to provide department law enforcement personnel and to share data collected during the digs.
“We did, but it’s a little complicated by the fact that our law enforcement guys have no authority on national park land. They could check diggers leaving the area on [U.S.] Highway 101. We offered to try to collect as much data as we could, but that was declined.”
Ayres said Fish & Wildlife plans to work with the park on some alternative dig dates to make up for the loss of opportunity.
“That is complicated by the uncertainty of the shutdown,” Ayres said.
Ayres said Tuesday that Kalaloch is on the list of proposed digs set Feb. 16-18 (depending on toxin testing and the re-opening of the federal government).
More information on planned digs this weekend at other beaches and recreational razor clamming can be found at wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/razorclams.
For contingency plans for a shutdown, see www.doi.gov/shut down.