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Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091

February 5, 2008
Contact: Dan Ayres, (360) 249-4628

Razor clam dig approved for Feb. 6-9

OLYMPIA - Clam diggers today got the go-ahead to proceed with a razor-clam dig Feb. 6-9, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) announced today.

Twin Harbors will open for four late-evening digs Feb. 6-9, while Long Beach will open on Feb. 8 and 9 only. The digs were approved after marine toxin tests showed the clams were safe to eat.

As with previous digs this season, digging will be allowed only during the hours between noon and midnight.

The February schedule includes two extra days for Twin Harbors but no days for Mocrocks or Copalis due to the low number of clams available for harvest, said Dan Ayres, coastal shellfish manager for WDFW.

"We want to make sure there will be enough clams to support a dig at all four beaches this spring," Ayres said. "These are popular digs because they're held on morning tides."

Kalaloch will remain closed throughout the 2008 season.

Depending on harvest data, WDFW may announce additional digging opportunities in March, but likely only at Twin Harbors, Ayres said.

Because digging will be held on late-evening tides after sunset, Ayres reminds diggers to take a flashlight or lantern when they head out. The best time to start digging at all beaches is an hour or two before low tide, he said.

Harvesters are allowed to take no more than 15 razor clams and must keep the first 15 they dig, regardless of size or condition. Each digger's clams must be kept in a separate container.

A license is required for anyone age 15 or older. Any 2007 Washington state annual shellfish/seaweed license or combination license is still valid. Another option is a razor-clam only license available in annual or three-day only versions. Descriptions of the various licensing options are available on the WDFW website at .

Opening dates and tides are:

* Feb. 6, Wednesday, 6:15 p.m., +0.1, Twin Harbors only
* Feb. 7, Thursday, 6:52 p.m., 0.0, Twin Harbors only
* Feb. 8, Friday, 7:27 p.m., +0.1, Long Beach and Twin Harbors only
* Feb 9, Saturday, 8:02 p.m., +0.4, Long Beach and Twin Harbors only

Locations of beaches are:

* Long Beach , which extends from the Columbia River to Leadbetter Point.
* Twin Harbors Beach , which extends from the mouth of Willapa Bay north to the mouth of Grays Harbor.

Ayres also reminded diggers that Washington's beaches, which are managed by the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission, are considered state highways and all rules of the road apply.

Under the law:

* Seatbelts must be worn at all times.
* The speed limit on the beach is 25 MPH.
* Pedestrians have the right-of-way and vehicles must yield at all times.

Also, visitors should not park on approaches to the beach in order to provide clear passage for vehicles that are entering or exiting.
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