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Holiday crabs: Can you dig it?

SHELLFISHING — Clam diggers can ring in the new year with an eight-day razor clam dig on ocean beaches that starts Dec. 29 and stretches through Jan. 5.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has approved the dig after marine toxin tests showed the clams are safe to eat.

As in previous openings, all digs are scheduled on evening tides. No digging will be allowed on any beach before noon.

"Digging razor clams on New Year's Day is a holiday tradition for a lot of Northwest families," said Dan Ayres, WDFW shellfish manager. "Fortunately, the tides allowed us to keep that tradition alive this year."

Upcoming digs are scheduled on the following dates, beaches and low tides:

  • Dec. 29, Sunday, 4:05 p.m.; -0.2 feet; Twin Harbors, Long Beach, Mocrocks, Copalis
  • Dec. 30, Monday, 4:55 p.m.; -0.9 feet; Twin Harbors, Long Beach, Mocrocks, Copalis
  • Dec. 31, Tuesday, 5:42 p.m.; -1.4 feet; Twin Harbors, Long Beach, Mocrocks, Copalis, 
  • Jan. 1, Wednesday, 6:29 p.m.; -1.7 feet; Twin Harbors, Long Beach, Mocrocks
  • Jan. 2, Thursday, 7:15 p.m.; -1.7 feet; Twin Harbors, Long Beach, Mocrocks
  • Jan. 3, Friday, 8:00 p.m.; -1.4 feet; Twin Harbors, Long Beach, Mocrocks
  • Jan. 4, Saturday, 8:45 p.m.; -0.9 feet; Twin Harbors, Long Beach, Mocrocks, Copalis
  • Jan. 5, Sunday, 9:31 p.m.; -0.2 feet; Twin Harbors

Under state law, diggers can take 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 2013-14 fishing license to harvest razor clams on any beach. Licenses, ranging from a three-day razor clam license to an annual combination fishing license, are available on WDFW's website and from license vendors around the state.

Additional digs are tentatively scheduled later in January and in February, but have not yet been approved. For more information, see the WDFW Razor Clam webpage.  

Westport crab-fest is a feast of fun

Feeling crabby?  Head to the Washington Coast.

The 25th Annual Westport Crab Races and Crab Feed is set for April 21-22.

Tap a leggy crab of good breeding and put it on the race course against other competitiors.

Or soak a crab pot for a chance at winning cash prizes. Thanks to the Washington Dungeness Crab Fishermen’s Association, the Westport Marina has been seeded with ocean-sized Dungeness for the Saturday and Sunday Crab Derby, with a top prize of $1,000.

Some people come just to feast on crab, which is served a variety of ways.

I notice the promoters still offer the option of hot dogs for kids.

Get all the info here.

Or call the Westport/Grayland Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Information Center toll free, (800) 345-6223.