As avid anglers, Joshua and Kendle spend their days exploring the waters of the Pacific Northwest and aim to teach others the joy of fishing. As filter-feeders, shellfish concentrate numerous toxins and pollutants that are dangerous for human consumption. Best Clams in Long Beach, Washington: Find 5,002 Tripadvisor traveller reviews of THE BEST Clams and search by price, location, and more. Filter-feeders, like clams, take in water to feed regardless of its content. Daily limits for clams and oysters are defined per species. Check out our article on the 7 best beaches for clamming in the Puget Sound where we showcase top notch clamming opportunities that are available in Washington State. It’s important to note that clamming forks are different from clam rakes. Identical information is found on WDFW beach pages and the shellfish safety map, but it may be easier to search geographic areas of interest using the map tool. Better roads and more leisure time have brought increasing numbers of diggers to the ocean beaches. The Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife has detailed information on their website here. While there are five razor clam digging regions in Washington State, your best bet for an amazing weekend of clam digging can be found at the following spots: The Copalis Beach region stretches from the north jetty at the mouth of Grays Harbor in Ocean Shores, Washington, all the way north to the Copalis River. Other smaller shovels, like foldable army shovels, also work but they may require you to dig faster as the blades are not as long. The best Long Beach Peninsula beaches for Washington clam digging include Ilwaco and Willapa Bay, but you can also clam farther north into Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mockrocks, and even all the way up to Kalaloch Beach above the Quinault Indian Reservation. A donut hole looks like a mound of sand falling away on all sides from the center hole. Clams can be found almost everywhere along the beach some spots are better then others. For more information, please visit the Washington State Department of Health website. Great news, it looks like there are several approved clam digs through March 2016. There is much to know when hunting oysters or clams – for the uninitiated it only looks like digging in the mud – so it is best … The handle and your back should be toward the shore. Doing so can re-contaminate your meal with bacteria. Washington State offers visitors a chance to search for seashells on one of the many beaches along the Pacific Coast, including Point No Point Beach and Ocean Shores. Read on to learn the basics of this endeavor and the best beaches for clamming. Razor clamming at Twin Harbors. Lone, Deer, Goss, Cranberry and Pass lakes are all stocked annually. For COVID-19-related closures, restrictions, and updates see the WDFW COVID-19/Coronavirus response page. All plants and animals reside where their basic requirements for life are met. And … It takes some practice to expertly differentiate between a clam show and a worm hole. Public Shellfish Beaches (click beaches for info.) Clam rake: Some clams, likemanilas, aren’t very far below the surface and can be collected using a clam rake instead of a shovel or clam gun. Always be cautious and check the area you are walking into. Pull the shovel blade up and toward you to remove the sand. Find the transition line between the solid rocks and the surf. Why it’s one of the best: This is the best Washington beach for dogs! The perfect blend of water, land and weather of the Pacific Northwest Coast combines to create some of the most diverse habitats for intertidal marine life in the world. Once you find a clam show, start digging with your tool of choice! Beach closures, shellfish safety tips, and preventing shellfish-related illnesses. So far, razor clams have tested as safe to eat at Washington’s three other beaches (Twin Harbors, Copalis and Moclips). You don’t want to stoop too low if you are tall and shorter people will lose leverage if the pipe is too long. You may not be tempted to jump into the water at a Washington beach (even in the summer, ocean temperatures off the coast are in the low 50s), but our state’s saltwater beaches along the Pacific Ocean and around Puget Sound have a lot to offer. The best clamming is found at the Bayshore Preserve. It is lightweight and allows for easy rinsing of the clams without removing them from the net. Heed the posted warning signs and do not walk on this type of mud. Alki Beach Park — Seattle; Marina Beach Park — Edmonds; Madison Park Beach — Seattle; Long Beach — Long Beach; Cape Disappointment State Park — Ilwaco; Ruby Beach — Port Angeles; Seabrook Beach — Seabrook; Jetty Island Park — Everett; Owen Beach — Tacoma; North Jetty — Ocean Shores However, it might not be as easy to do on other beaches. Just as it sounds, this is the portion of beach that always remains underwater. Nonresidents may begin recreational clamming (and crabbing) again coastwide Wednesday, October 7. Razor clam beaches map. Some areas may also be closed due to shellfish population management or are marine preserves/conservation areas. Razor clams like the sand type and the fact that the beaches here have been very stable since the construction of the Columbia’s jetties during the late 1800s and early 1900s. OLYMPIA--Washington's ocean beaches will remain closed to razor clam harvest until at least December after test results on razor clams dug at Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Kalaloch and Copalis indicate levels of domoic acid that exceed the threshold (20 parts per million (ppm)) set by state public health officials for safe consumption. 7 best beaches for clamming in the Puget Sound, https://wdfw.wa.gov/places-to-go/shellfish-beaches, StrikeMaster 24v Ice Auger: A Definitive Review, Flasher vs. It’s sad to say but garbage, sewer, oil and other toxic waste spills into the Puget Sound around metropolitan areas. The Buck King Outdoors crew headed to the Washington Coast to try track down the elusive Razor Clam. Most clams live their entire lives within a few square meters of where you find them. Some require a boat while other may involve a strenuous hike. Going barefoot is not advised as you can cut your feet on sharp shells, rocks and other debris. Ocean Shores is one of Washington’s most popular beaches. Digging for razor or bay clams is a simple and affordable activity that can include the whole family. You should only eat well-cooked shellfish and do not re-rinse cooked pieces with saltwater. However, raking your hands through wet and rough sand will leave your fingers hurting by the end of the day. Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) sets Ocean Sport Clamming Seasons. It is considered trespassing and stealing to dig up clams in these areas and you may be fined. The toxins are slowly flushed from their bodies after the algae die but it can take up to 4 – 6 weeks and even as long as 2 years for butter clams. List of Public Beaches and Status by County; Recorded Hotline for Biotoxin Closures: 1-800-562-5632; List of Biotoxin Beach Closures by County; Questions? 10 Best Beaches in Washington for Families for 2021. 2020 Razor Clamming Season Updates: Nov. 13-19 razor clam digs cancelled due to marine toxins. You must be quick to catch them before they dig too deep and get away. This article, focusing specifically on shellfish, will help you find and catch these buried treasures of the Pacific Northwest. You can find eastern soft shell clams, manila clams and geoducks in mudflats. Rubber boots or waders: Waterproof footwear is a must to stay comfortable on the beach until your daily limit is caught. Recreational Shellfish Safety Map. Vibrio bacteria naturally live in small numbers in coastal waters and river inlets. Gathering shellfish, including the incredible geoduck, is a favorite activity in the Puget Sound area and across the many miles of beaches found in Washington. Clamming Beaches 1) Deception Pass State Park sites 2) Ala Spit - Limited Season 3) Dugualla Bay Dike 4) Dugualla State Park - Closed 5) Oak Harbor waterfront - Closed 6) Hastie Lake (North Point Partridge) 7) Monroe Landing - Closed 8) Grasser’s Lagoon [West … Clam gun: Clam guns are a great option for razor clams on wet, sandy beaches. There are more than 40 public clam and oyster beaches on Whidbey and Camano Islands. Owners and their immediate family may harvest clams on their property and are exempt from daily limits. Use your body weight while dropping to one knee to push the blade vertically into the sand. Let’s take a quick look at four types of beaches you may encounter while clamming. In Washington State, these beaches stretch from as far south as the tip of Long Beach to as far north as the Moclips River, where the southern boundary of the Quinault Indian Reservation begins. On the day you go clamming, please check the DOH website or call the Shellfish Safety Hotline to confirm the status of the beach. Where one clam is, there will likely be more. You’ve caught your daily limit of clams, now what? 5. In order to safely harvest shellfish for human consumption, both the DOH health status and the WDFW season for a beach must be open. The beach right below Seabrook is Mocrocks beach and the beach south of Seabrook off SR 109 is Copalis Beach. Please reference the table above for specific depths. As they weaken, their shells will pop open exposing the meat. Adding cornmeal or pepper to the water isn’t necessary. Broken clams count as your daily limit so please be responsible and keep them. Commercial Shellfish. Washington State shellfish managers have been busy on our coastal beaches counting Razor Clam populations. This method works best in mudflats or clamming areas that are always covered with shallow water even at low tide. These toxins are harmful and deadly to humans who consume the contaminated shellfish. You need to find a beach. Extremely low tides are really only necessary on popular beaches, so that you can access the clams that others haven’t been able to. However, most clams prefer a combination of sand, mud and gravel which together create the perfect environment that is firm enough to protect them from burrowing predators but easy enough to dig through themselves. Clamming basics: what to pack Stretching from Kalaloch Beach in Olympic National Park down to the southern end of the Washington Coast along the mouth of the Columbia River, numerous destinations are available to clammers. For help identifying clam, mussel and oyster (bivalve) species, download the shellfish identification chart. 4. The majority of Puget Sound beaches are privately owned. Washington state parks provide not only access to some of the best recreational clamming beaches, they also offer excellent recreation opportunities! Photo courtesy: Jason Walsh. size, 40 clams or 10 lbs max in shell, all clams kept regardless of size or condition, No min.m size, first 7 clams dug, regardless of size or condition (broken), No min. This Oregon Razor Clam Map has fourteen different Beaches to clam from. Repeat the process until you reach the clam. Induce sand spitting. Washington’s ocean beaches will remain closed to razor clam harvest until at least Dec. 12 after test results on razor clams dug at Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks and … To prevent exposure, it is important to keep shellfish cold after harvesting to minimize bacterial growth. The best clamming is in the big flat directly off the parking area. Rinse all sand and debris away with fresh water. Searching for clams in the right region of the beach is imperative to success which is why we’ll start with a quick discussion on tidal zones. For at-a-glance, site-specific harvest seasons, please see the 2021 Puget Sound clam, mussel, and oyster season guide. There is a short trail leading from the parking lot to the beach. It is very important to thoroughly cook all shellfish to prevent getting sick from bacteria. These tubes leave holes or dimples known as “clam shows.” It seems simple enough. While Pacific Beach is a pretty low-key destination, it’s a veritable playground if you enjoy the outdoors. For best results, clam digs begin about an hour before low tide. Whidbey’s numerous lakes are ideal for fishing for largemouth bass or trout. Vibrio is killed by cooking shellfish until the internal temperature is at least 145°F for 15 seconds. Razor clam diggers are returning to Long Beach this year for plentiful, good-sized clams. Although occasionally hampered because of a marine micro-organism found in razor clams which can be harmful to humans, 2007-08 conditions are fine. There are hundreds of beaches in the Puget Sound with excellent clamming. A list of the tides in the Puget Sound region that favor good harvest results can be found in the 2021 best clam and oyster harvest tides chart. Above, we discussed four beach types and separately, they all host clams. Many beaches in Washington do not allow dogs but this expansive and sandy beach is a great place to play with your leashed dog. Cama Beach State Park The rustic waterfront cabins at Camano Island’s Cama Beach State Park offer the best of both worlds: a beach just steps away for daytime exploration, and later, a bed plus electric lights to read by when night falls, with nearby waves offering a soundtrack to sleep by. For the best bet at getting your limit, be prepared to go out in the fall and winter and deal with the elements, when there are not as many clam diggers on the beach. Located about three hours from Seattle, the town of Ocean Shores is a bit quieter than similar Oregonian cities, but has the requisite oceanfront hotels, seafood restaurants, places to buy saltwater taffy and family fun.Of course, it also has a beach — several miles of beach, actually. Recipes may also call for removing the meat from the shell. You can’t dig for clams when rock after rock is in the way. Even a few sand granules can ruin a tasty meal. Essentially, they are a hollow pipe with a handle that you press into the ground around the clam and then pull upward. The vibrations from pounding cause the clams to shrink away, causing a slight dimple. Clam shovels are specifically made with a long, narrow, curved blade designed to slide easily into the sand. In fact, it’s always a good idea to have a copy of the current rules and regulations with you whenever you go on a fishing adventure. What’s that like? Get a license You will either get wet or need rubber boots or waders to enter the subtidal waters. Most people use a clam net that attaches at the waist. Click here to subscribe. The WDFW sends out emails regarding approved razor clam digs as they approve them. Favorite Bay Clam Species in Oregon. Yet, as they are filter feeders, they must eat, expel waste and reproduce at the surface through siphon tubes. Kristin Kendle. For current clam, oyster, and mussel beach seasons you can check: Razor clam seasons on the Pacific coast occur only after clam samples have been tested by the DOH and are found to be safe for human consumption. In Washington, everyone digs at the same time on designated weekends. The best Washington beaches to visit here would be Deadman’s Cove and Waikiki Beach. It is not unusual to have as many as a thousand people per mile during a nice spring weekend day. In our modern world, pollution is always present and when levels get unsafe, beach closuresare initiated to keep us from getting sick from contaminated, self-harvested shellfish. Shellfish license: Residents and non-residents, 15 years or older, must have a valid license to collect shellfish in Washington State. Similar conditions prompted season-long closures of Washington’s coastal beaches twice in the 1990s and in 2002. The state’s website has the calendar and details. This part of northern Clatsop County is not only the best for razor clamming in the state, it’s also the nearest clamming for the largest number of Oregonians living in the greater Portland area. We’ve also included a section on razor clamming on the Washington coast. Staying on Bainbridge Island. Some contain deep, sticky mud that falsely portrays a compact surface when the tide is out. Providing fresh clams for your table is a fun and rewarding experience. Some beaches are open to clamming year … Vibriosis is an intestinal disease caused by vibrio bacteria. Ocean Shores is one of Washington’s most popular beaches. The beach and tide pools here remain wet and only during extremely low tides are they exposed to drying out in the sun. This information is courtesy of WDFW: Licensing: All persons 15 or older must have their current shellfish/seaweed license while […] As always you want to refer to the wdfw website for all of the dates above going from tentative to official. The intertidal zone is the shoreline area which becomes submerged in water at high tide and exposed at low tide. Take a look at the above map. Keyholes are large and well defined, usually round and occasionally with two holes close together. Buckets also work, especially if you need seawater to later purge the clams of sand. The middle intertidal zone, or mid-intertidal zone, is the halfway point between the shore and low tide. See the different license options and prices at the WDFW website. This is expelled material from the clam. Dec 2020 razor clam digs. Clams are no exception. Portable toilets are available. Some beaches are open to clamming year … You can buy metal ones specifically designed for clamming from the store or you can make your own out of pvc pipe. Warm water off the coast has helped toxic algae thrive, rendering the clams unsafe to eat. “Thank goodness for picture tutorials on the web on … Where to go. These beaches may produce good oyster beds since oysters attach to submerged rocks, piers and other hard surfaces. If the clam is not there, make sure to check the hole before filling it back in and moving on to the next one. All other shellfish must be frozen or processed so as to clearly distinguish them from that day’s limit. And … In the spring, when water temperatures warm, all the clams in the area release their eggs and semen into the water to mix and fertilize the next generation. Cold temperatures prevent the growth of bacteria. Once you know where to find clams and you’ve check all the rules and health advisories, all that’s left is to make sure you have the correct gear. Be prepared to be one of the crowd, too! Be somewhat careful as you can damage the clam shell with the blade if you hit it forcefully. Overnight is our preferred method. For help identifying clam, mussel and oyster (bivalve) species, download the shellfish identification chart. Before digging for clams, it’s important to always check for beach closures due to pollution, Vibrio bacteria and biotoxin/red tide warnings. Not all are easily accessible though. Commercial Clammer. Never bypass a beach closure warning of biotoxins and red tides! The clams found here are well adapted to surviving the pounding surf and low tide exposures. 1. Call us at 360-236-3330 or the local county health department during weekday business hours. Not all clam shows look alike. Other popular Hood Canal public beaches for clamming during open season include East Dabob, Quilcene Bay Tidelands, Shine Tidelands State Park and Salsbury Point County Park. statewide shellfish and seaweed daily limits and shellfish size rules, 2021 Puget Sound clam, mussel, and oyster season. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has extensive information on public beaches where clam digging is permitted, including a map showing all public beaches and a bar chart showing when clam digging is permitted at each beach. With clam digging lessons, vendor booths, contests, taste-offs, and more, it’s fun for the whole family! 2. Dropping crab pots for Dungeness or red rock crab is often done by boat, but crabbing from a dock can be successful too. This conservation measure prevents disturbance of the young clams, increases chances of good survival rates, and helps ensure future harvest. It is very important to note that all of the beaches north of Tillamook Head (Seaside, Or) to the end of the Long Beach peninsula are responsible for 90% of all razor clams dug in Oregon and Washington. Razor clam season is here! Where to dig for razor clams on the Washington coast? Camera: What’s Better for Ice Fishing, Noodle Rods for Ice Fishing: Everything You Need to Know, Humminbird Ice Helix 7: Best Settings for all Situations, Are Manual Ice Augers Hard to Use: 7 Tips for Easy Drilling, 7 Best Ice Fishing Lures for Perch That Never Fail, How to Easily Paint an Aluminum Boat (With Pictures), sand, gravel, cobble, mid-intertidal to subtidal zones, sand, gravel, cobble, mid to low intertidal, extends into subtidal, sand, gravel, cobble, low intertidal zone, extends into subtidal, Native Littleneck clam, Pacific Littleneck, sand, gravel, cobble, mud, mid-intertidal zone, Nuttall’s Cockle, Heart Cockle, Basket Cockle, sandy, sheltered beaches, gravel, cobble, sometimes on surface, intertidal to subtidal zones, on rocks, piers and other hard, submerged surfaces, sand, intertidal coastal beaches, +3 foot to -2 foot tides, Varnish clam, Purple varnish clam, Savory clam, No min. There are several important steps to insure your clams remain safe to eat. For the best tide information, check with NOAA or the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife websites. Sandy beaches are the most commonly sought locations for digging clams. Waders or hip boots allow you to kneel on the beach without getting wet which is a plus when you have to reach inside a deep hole to pull out that escaping clam. The Washington Department of Health (DOH) is responsible for human health-related closures in response to potentially life-threatening environmental conditions, which result from PSP/ASP/DSP, Vibrio bacteria or pollution. At the end of this section there is a table that summarizes these locations and beach types with regards to the clams found in Washington State. Sometimes there is only a slight dimple or indent in the sand. This site also participates in other affiliate programs and is compensated for referring traffic and business to these companies. Clams live in a variety of habitats which in turn determines how and where you dig for them. Willapa Bay Tides; Necanicum Estuary Tides; Nehalem Bay Tides; Tillamook Garibaldi Tides Would love to take the kids (ages 15, 13, 9) clamming. 6. A list of the tides in the Puget Sound region that favor good harvest results can be found in the 2021 best clam and oyster harvest tides chart. You are allowed one Daily Limit in fresh form. These two areas are consistently better than all the other spots in Oregon and Washington. A license, shovel, and bucket are the only necessities. There is not so much a clamming “season” in Washington as there are sporadic openings and closures of beaches. A 4 inch diameter minimum is required for razor clams. To find a beach to harvest clams, mussels, and oysters, enter all or part of a beach name and/or select a county from the dropdown menu below. Depending on the type of clam you may want to remove the guts and discard. Discover crabbing and clamming on the Oregon Coast Oregon has 360 miles of coastline - that’s 360 miles of crabbing and clamming opportunity! The perfect gravel beach is covered in small rocks and pebbles layered on top of a coarse sandy beach. Don’t miss this year’s Long Beach Razor Clam Festival on the Washington Coast for family friendly fun. 10 Reasons You Don’t Want to Miss the Long Beach Razor Clam Festival (April 20) If you’re a clam fan, this event is for you. Clamming Beaches 1) Deception Pass State Park sites 2) Ala Spit - Limited Season 3) Dugualla Bay Dike 4) Dugualla State Park - Closed 5) Oak Harbor waterfront - Closed 6) Hastie Lake (North Point Partridge) 7) Monroe Landing - Closed 8) Grasser’s Lagoon [West … Tentative Dates & Tides: Dates will be confirmed by safety tests just prior to the digs. If clams burrowed beneath the surface and never extended their siphons to the surface, we would have a much more difficult time finding them. 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