Razors and Rainbows
John Kruse, November 16, 2021
Last year, between Covid-19 and unhealthy levels of a marine toxin called domoic acid, there was very little opportunity to harvest razor clams on the Southwest Washington coast. Last season’s loss is this year’s gain though in what is shaping up to be a banner year for razor clam diggers.
Dan Ayres is the Coastal Shellfish Manager for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and says “We’ve got clams on clams! Big clams, small clams, which is good for the future on all beaches. I mean, I’ve been doing this for 41 years and this is maybe the best populations across all beaches that I’ve personally seen.”
Ayres says not only are there lots of clams, but the size of them is up as well. So much so that the limit has been raised this year from 15 to 20 razor clams for each individual. There are four razor clam beach areas currently open (depending on the day) in Washington. They are Long Beach (along the Long Beach peninsula), Twin Harbors (from the north end of Willapa Bay to Westport), Copalis (from the north Jetty of Grays Harbor to the Copalis River north of Ocean Shores) and Moclips (from the Copalis River to Moclips). Because of tribal treaty agreements, Moclips and Copalis are only open to non-tribal razor clam diggers every other day.
If you are wondering about some of the better places to dig for razor clams Ayres suggests the area by Ocean Shores and north to the river on Copalis Beach, around Grayland or Grayland State Park at Twin Harbors, and the northern end of the Long Beach Peninsula though there are also clams being found this year all up and down the beach from Long Beach to Oysterville.
Tentative razor clamming opportunities available for the immediate future are listed here and includes when low tide is and what beaches are open:
• Nov. 24, Wednesday, 9:43 P.M.; +0.5 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
• Dec. 1, Wednesday, 4:09 P.M.; +0.1 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
• Dec. 2, Thursday, 4:58 P.M.; -0.8 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
• Dec. 3, Friday, 5:45 P.M.; -1.5 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
• Dec. 4, Saturday, 6:32 P.M.; -1.9 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
• Dec. 5, Sunday, 7:20 P.M.; -2.0 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
• Dec. 6, Monday, 8:09 P.M.; -1.7 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
• Dec. 7, Tuesday, 8:59 P.M.; -1.2 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
• Dec. 8, Wednesday, 9:51 P.M.; -0.6 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
• Dec. 9, Thursday, 10:45 P.M.; +0.1 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis
Be sure to check the WDFW emergency rules page for any potential beach closures before you go. If you want to learn more about razor clamming or are looking for recipes for the clams you harvest WDFW has a lot of information for you at https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/basics/digging-razor-clams.
November is a great month to go trout fishing because the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife actively stocks lakes around the state in the fall for anglers and some of these fish are “jumbo” trout, weighing close to a pound in size. Here’s some lakes recently stocked or scheduled to be stocked in Central and Eastern Washington that are open for fishing:
• Putters Pond – Douglas County – 9100 catchable rainbows
• Roses Lake – Chelan County – 18,000 catchable trout scheduled for late November
• Wapato Lake – Chelan County – 4,000 catchables
• Billy Clapp Lake – Grant County – 4200 catchable trout
• Sage Lakes – Grant County – 1000 catchable rainbows
• Patterson Lake – Okanogan County – 1600 catchable trout
• Bonaparte Lake -Okanogan County – 2500 catchables
• Davis Lake – Okanogan County – 2000 rainbows
• Leader Lake – Okanogan County – 2500 trout
• Rat Lake – Okanogan County – 2500 rainbow trout
• Molson Lake – Okanogan County – 1035 catchables
• Sidley Lake – Okanogan County – 3450 rainbows
• Rowland Lake – Klickitat County – Catchable and jumbo trout scheduled for November and December
• Spearfish Lake – Klickitat County – A catchable plant is scheduled for December
Between late fall trout fishing and razor clamming on the coast, the holiday season has much to offer the outdoors enthusiast!
John Kruse – www.northwesternoutdoors.com and www.americaoutdoorsradio.com
THE WASHINGTON OUTDOORS REPORT
November 19 – November 26 , 2021
1. Razor Clams from the Washington Coast - Courtesy WDFW
2. Fall rainbow trout caught at Putters Pond- Courtesy Inland Northwest Wildlife Council
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