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Guide to Clam Digging in WA

The Pacific razor clam (Siliqua patula) lives in abundance on the shoreline between California and Alaska. Washington’s Pacific razor clam digging season is just getting underway in 2012. It’s a popular family activity that delivers some delicious results!

According to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife website, the meaty Pacific razor clam is a delicacy, and one of the most sought after shellfish in the state of Washington.

According to the WDFW, digging razor clams is truly a family sport. It can be enjoyed by children and senior citizens alike. All you need is a clam shovel or specialized tube, a container to put your clams in, and most important, your clam license.

Don Ayres, of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) recommends that diggers hit the beach one to two hours before evening low tide to find the most razor clams. No digging is allowed before noon, anyway.

Diggers who head out to Washington’s clam beaches are allowed to take up to 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.

All diggers age 15 or older must have an applicable 2011-12 fishing license to harvest razor clams on any beach. Licensing options range from a three-day razor clam license to an annual combination fishing license, which can be purchased on WDFW’s website and from WA license vendors.

Be careful when harvesting your razor clams. The shells are brittle and can break, making the broken edge “razor sharp”. Razor clams can be fried, grilled, and frozen once the meat is out of the shell. The WDFW has recipes on its website!

The next tentatively scheduled clam digs are on Saturday and Sunday, February 18 and 19. The beaches where digging will be open are Long Beach, Twin Harbors and Mocrocks. On Saturday, low tide is scheduled at 4:13pm, and on Sunday, low tide is scheduled at 5:00pm, according to the WDFW.

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