Goskagit

The state Department of Fish and Wildlife has approved razor clam digging through Wednesday after marine toxin tests showed the clams are safe to eat.

The agency continues to emphasize "digging while distancing" to ensure a fun and safe razor clam season.

“Close proximity can accelerate the spread of COVID-19, so we’re asking the public to take steps to thoroughly prepare for their visits to avoid increasing risk,” Fish & Wildlife Coastal Region Director Larry Phillips said in a news release. "The department is being guided by risk assessments by local and state health officials."

Razor clam diggers can find detailed beach maps at wdfw.wa.gov and clicking on Fishing & Shellfishing. According to the release, there are digging opportunities along 58 miles of coastal beaches.

Fish & Wildlife Coastal Shellfish Manager Dan Ayres emphasized in the release following strict guidelines not only in regard to the pandemic, but to harvesting regulations.

"It is important that clam diggers only dig where it is allowed, prefer weekday digging if possible to avoid crowds, and spread out while digging, especially now," he said.

During the dig, Mocrocks beach is open Sunday and Tuesday, while Copalis is open Monday and Wednesday. Razor clam co-managers negotiated this schedule to ensure good access to low tides for both tribal and nontribal diggers.

Diggers ages 15 and older must have an applicable fishing license to harvest razor clams on any beach.

Under state law, diggers at open beaches 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.

— Reporter Vince Richardson: 360-416-2181, vrichardson@skagitpublishing.com, Twitter:@goskagit, Facebook.com/VinceReports/