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WDFW Opens Christmas Clam Digging

Brad Hole

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is set to re-open recreational clamming during the Christmas holidays.

State shellfish managers with the WDFW have approved a three-day opening for clamming along the Copalis coastline during the 24th, 25th, and 26th of December.

Recreational clamming has been closed due to the elevated presence of domoic acid. Clams and other shellfish are filter feeders that can accumulate toxins present in the water. However, state public health officials have cleared Copalis clams safe to eat after multiple rounds of testing.

Map courtesy of WDFW
Map courtesy of WDFW


“This first razor clam dig of the season couldn’t come at a better time for diggers hoping to add clams to their holiday dinners,” said Dan Ayres, WDFW coastal shellfish manager in a press release.

Other Washington coastal areas will continue to remain closed until further notice and state public health officials with WDFW will continue monitoring domoic acid levels.

One to two hours prior to low tide is ideal for clam digging. Copalis coastline low tides for the three-day dig are:

  • Dec. 24, Thursday, 5:47 p.m.; -1.2 feet
  • Dec. 25, Friday, 6:30 p.m.; -1.3 feet
  • Dec. 26, Saturday, 7:12 p.m.; -1.1 feet

Several popular destinations along the state’s only stretch of coastline that will be open to digging include Ocean Shores, Oyhut, Ocean City, and Copalis. Copalis Beach stretches from the Copalis River south to the Grays Harbor north jetty.

Photo by Greg Anderson

Last season’s recreational clam diggers in Washington harvested 5.7 million clams with a catch-per-effort of about 14.4 clams per digger.


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WDFW Opens Christmas Clam Digging