SHELLFISHING — The strongest year of razor clam digging in more than a decade is predicted this fall based on summer surveys on ocean beaches, the Washington Fish and Wildlife Department reports.
Barring issues with marine toxins, clammers could enjoy some of the best harvests in 15 years.
- During the 2012-13 season, diggers harvested 6.1 million razor clams, the highest number in 15 years. Diggers averaged 14.5 clams per day, just shy of the 15-clam legal limit.
“The test show an even higher density of razor clams on most beaches than last year, when diggers enjoyed a banner season,” said Dan Ayres, coastal shellfish manager. “That will translate into more days of digging at popular beaches such as Long Beach and Twin Harbors, so long as we don't have any marine toxin issues.”
State shellfish managers will present an update on coastal razor clam stocks and discuss options for structuring this year's season at a public meeting Sept. 19 in Long Beach.
The seasons could start in October. The lowest tides are the first and third weekends of the month. A season could be set for either or both.
Razor clam seasons are also an economic boon for small coastal communities, according to a study conducted by the University of Washington. Last year's season generated approximately $37 million in economic benefits, based on the model used in the study.