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Ready, Set, Dig... For Clams!

Looking for an exciting weekend adventure? How about trying your hand at clam digging!

The Department of Fish and Wildlife recently announced that Washingtonians can dig for the sought after Pacific razor clam at select beaches and times this Saturday, April 6th through Monday, April 8th. Prepare now to join in the fun, it doesn’t take much!

What do you need to get started?

  • A 2019-2020 license for diggers age 15 and older, 3 day licenses are $9.70, annual licenses are $14.10, you can purchase here
  • A shovel or clam gun
  • A bucket for carrying your clams, each digger must have their own, limit of first 15 each
  • Weather appropriate clothing, rain boots recommended

I first went clam digging in 2009. I was inexperienced but intrigued; hunting and gathering my own food seemed like a rewarding experience! And a delicacy like clams, how could I say no? So, my husband and I joined a dear friend of ours who grew up on the water and knew his way around a clam dig. He taught us the ropes and with hot buttered rum in hand we braved the chilly beach. I took note of Nate’s technique with both a shovel and a clam gun and set out looking for signs of my own clams. I was quick enough for one! Just one, but it was mine and I was proud. The others in my group fared much better and we left the beach with enough clams for a memorable dinner. Friends and good food the freshest possible, does it get any better than that?

There’s no question in my mind that you’ll love clam digging, and you know the supplies and the approved dates, but, where can you dig? Any beach you sense might have clams waiting? Nope! During the 2019 opening weekend you can clam dig at these beaches and low tide times:

April 6th, 8:05 a.m.; 0.3 feet; Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
April 7th, 8:42 a.m.; 0.1 feet; Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
April 8th, 9:20 a.m.; 0.0 feet; Mocrocks

These details are important because state shellfish managers have tested and approved these morning low tide digs and locations after marine toxin tests showed that the clams are safe for consumption.

In case you’re busy this weekend, don’t fret, more spring clam digs will be confirmed soon. Keep an eye on the Department of Fish and Wildlife website for up to date information. Tentatively, the next dig is scheduled for April 20th through 22nd which falls during the Long Beach Razor Clam Festival.

April 20th, 7:58 a.m.; -1.1 feet; Long Beach Twin Harbors, Copalis
April 21st, 8:42 a.m.; -1.2 feet; Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
April 22nd, 9:25 a.m.; -1.0 feet; Twin Harbors Mocrocks

I don’t have the recipe we used years ago for clam chowder, but I peeked at this one from Premeditated Leftovers and this one from Serious Eats and they seem equally delicious! You can’t go wrong with an Ivars copycat clam chowder recipe either! Don’t stop at clam chowder though; clams are such a unique source of seafood, experiment and enjoy! Happy clamming!