OUTDOORS: WDFW approves razor clam digs this week

OLYMPIA — Razor clam diggers can look forward to more digging on coastal beaches this week, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife coastal shellfish managers confirmed Friday.

Not all coastal beaches are open for every dig, so diggers are encouraged to make sure their intended destination is open before heading out, especially with the severe winter weather this week hitting the outer coast. Optimal digging occurs between one and two hours before the listed time of low tide.

The following digs during afternoon and evening low tides — noon to midnight only — will proceed as scheduled, after marine toxin results from the state Department of Health showed razor clams are safe to eat:

Today, 5:46 p.m.; -1.2 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks.

Thursday, 6:28 p.m.; -1.5 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks.

Friday, 7:11 p.m.; -1.6 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis.

Saturday, 7:53 p.m.; -1.3 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis.

Sunday, 8:36 p.m.; -0.8 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks.

Monday, 9:19 p.m.; 0.0 feet; Mocrocks.

The DOH requires test samples for marine toxins, and domoic acid levels must fall under the guideline level before a beach can open for digging. Domoic acid, a natural toxin produced by certain types of marine algae, can be harmful or fatal if consumed in sufficient quantities. Final approval usually occurs about a week or less — sometimes two to three days — before the start of each digging series.

Additional tentative dates proposed in January when the weather may be milder includes:

Jan. 22, Monday, 4:28 p.m.; -0.1 feet; Mocrocks.

Jan. 23, Tuesday, 5:13 p.m.; -0.3 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks.

Jan. 24, Wednesday, 5:53 p.m.; -0.4 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis.

Jan. 25, Thursday, 6:28 p.m.; -0.4 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis.

Jan. 26, Friday, 7:01 p.m.; -0.2 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks.

Jan. 27, Saturday, 7:32 p.m.; 0.0 feet; Long Beach, Mocrocks.

Jan. 28, Sunday, 8:02 p.m.; 0.4 feet; Copalis.

On all open beaches, the daily limit is 15 clams per person. Each digger’s clams must be kept in a separate container, and all diggers must keep the first 15 clams they dig, regardless of size or condition, to prevent waste.

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