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Originally published May 10, 2014 at 9:46 AM | Page modified May 10, 2014 at 5:41 PM

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Razor-clam season one of the best in years

Digging remains good, which bodes well for 2014-15 season


Seattle Times staff reporter

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Many of the coastal beaches still are covered with razor clams, and this season likely will go down as one of the best in many years.

“We’ll still have some great digging times ahead with plenty of clams available,” said Dan Ayres, the head state Fish and Wildlife coastal shellfish manager. “We’ve also got a whole pile of clams the Quinault Tribe offered to add to the recreational harvest.”

Digging is open Tuesday (a minus-0.6 feet low tide at 6:21 a.m.) at Twin Harbors; Wednesday (minus-1.2 at 7:02 a.m.) at Twin Harbors and Long Beach; Thursday (-1.5 at 7:44 a.m.) at Twin Harbors and Long Beach; Friday (-1.7 at 8:27 a.m.) at Twin Harbors, Long Beach and Copalis; Saturday (-1.7 at 9:12 a.m.) at Twin Harbors, Long Beach, Copalis and Mocrocks; May 18 (-1.5 at 9:59 a.m.) at Twin Harbors, Long Beach, Copalis and Mocrocks; May 19 (-1.1 at 10:50 a.m.) at Twin Harbors; and May 20 (-0.6 at 11:44 a.m.) at Twin Harbors.

The most recent razor clam digs April 27 to May 4 started off well, and at the end produced mixed success because of heavy rain and surf. A total of 28,406 diggers harvested 388,766 clams.

“I took my family to Twin Harbors at Grayland, and we had our limits in just 10 minutes,” Ayres said of a May 2 outing. “The clams were big in size and in great condition. People overall are pretty happy with this season.”

Daily limits of 15 clams were common, ranging from averages of 14.6 to 15.0 per digger April 27 to May 2 at Twin Harbors and Long Beach, and May 2 at Mocrocks.

The average was 12.7 May 3 at Long Beach; 14.7 at Twin Harbors; and 13.8 at Mocrocks. The harvest fell to 7.7 by May 4 at Long Beach; 8.9 at Twin Harbors; and 8.8 at Mocrocks.

Digging has been off the charts this fall, winter and spring for a total of 61 days at Long Beach (42 last season), 91 at Twin Harbors (81), 17 at Copalis (28) and 48 at Mocrocks (30).

What lies ahead for the 2014-15 season should closely mirror or be even better than what diggers see this season.

“It should be another stellar year, but as always, we’ll have to wait and see what happens over the summer,” Ayres said. “We’ve had significant mortality in the summer months, but you’ll have to go back about 20 to 30 years. The clams will need their groceries (zooplankton feed) to stay alive and grow in the summer.”

Snow sports still going

Additional snowfall is good news for skiers and snowboarders who aren’t ready to stow away the gear.

“The snowpack on the upper hills of Green Valley is holding well, and our plans are to stay open (Sunday) and the following weekend (May 17-18) for sure,” said Tiana Enger, the marketing director at Crystal Mountain Resort, which received about 3 inches of snow since Friday.

Crystal will have gondola access to Green Valley and the Snorting Elk Bowl areas, and the Green Valley quad chair will be running on open days from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. All-day lift tickets are $30.

“There is a very strong chance we’ll stay open through the Memorial Day Weekend,” Enger said. “The conditions and snow coverage are fantastic.”

Other choices are Blackcomb Mountain Resort in British Columbia, which is open on weekends through May 26. Mount Hood Meadows in Oregon also is open Sunday, and its final day will be Saturday, May 17.

myuasa@seattletimes.com

or 206-464-8780



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