Aided by higher daily limits for much of the fall and spring seasons, recreational razor clam diggers took home more clams in the season that ended last Saturday than any in the previous 40-plus years, according to state Department of Fish and Wildlife estimates.
A total of 120 calendar digging days were offered from Sept. 17 through May 7 on all open beaches — Long Beach (119 days), Twin Harbors (108 days), Mocrocks (60 days) and Copalis (53 days).
“Thanks to healthy ocean conditions providing very abundant populations of razor clams, the 2021–22 season was one for the record books with nearly 8.4 million clams harvested taken in 484,324 diggers trips,” said Dan Ayres, coastal shellfish manager.
Here’s a breakdown of razor clams harvested by beach:
• Long Beach: 3,187,179 razor clams harvested on 189,384 digger trips.
• Twin Harbors: 2,092,415 razor clams harvested on 123,652 digger trips.
• Copalis: 1,612,069 razor clams harvested on 96,380 digger trips.
• Mocrocks: 1,233,103 razor clams harvested on 74,908 digger trips.
“These abundant populations also allowed us to raise the daily bag limit [to 20] during a large portion of the season, the first time that has occurred since 1974,” Ayres said.
The daily average for the entire season was 16.8 clams per person at Long Beach; 16.9 at Twin Harbors; 16.7 at Copalis; and 16.5 at Mocrocks.
Razor clams have been large, as well, with a combined average of 4.59 inches, thanks in part to a healthy ocean full of “phytoplankton” feed. Clams averaged 4.35 inches at Long Beach; 4.74 inches at Twin Harbors; 4.80 inches at Copalis; and 4.55 inches at Mocrocks.
Beath discusses salmon
John Beath, charter fishing captain and member of the North Olympic Peninsula chapter of Puget Sound Anglers, will speak at the club’s meeting Wednesday.
Beath will offer a presentation on summer salmon fishing off Port Angeles.
The meeting will be held at the Sequim Elks Lodge, 143 Port Williams Road.
Doors open at 6:30 p.m., with the meeting set for a 7 p.m. start.
A short business meeting and raffle drawings will follow Beath’s talk.
Raffles are for members only, but the public can purchase an annual membership at the meeting for $25, which includes a monthly subscription to The Reel News.
Stay off lake
Elevated levels of the potent nerve toxin anatoxin-a were detected in a water sample taken from Anderson Lake in late April.
Recreational activities such as fishing, boating and swimming are prohibited until the toxins dissipate and the lake is deemed safe for recreation. Anderson Lake State Park remains open for other recreational activities such as horseback riding, hiking and birdwatching.
Sports reporter Michael Carman can be contacted at [email protected]