Hankering for a bowl of clam chowder? How about some clam linguini? Lucky for you, we live in the Pacific Northwest, where thousands of clams call home, and this year's razor clam season is off to a tremendous start. One of the best places in to dig for clams in Washington is the Long Beach Peninsula, in the very southwest corner of the state. Last year more than six million razor clams were harvested and 2014 looks to yield and even greater abundance. If you've never tried your hand at clam digging, here are a few tips to get started.
- Get a license. All diggers age 16 or older must have a 2014-2015 fishing license to harvest razor clams. You can get your license online or from multiple locations around the state. There are several different types of licenses available, but if you're only searching for clams, you'll need a three-day razor clam license for $8.65. Every digger is allowed 15 clams per day.
- Plan your dig day. Digs happen at low tide, either in the morning or later in the evening. If your dig is scheduled for the evening, you may need a headlamp or flashlight to see your hole. You can start digging about two hours before low tide, so you'll have more than enough time to hit your 15-clam limit.
- Pack correctly. Plan on getting wet and dirty. Wear plenty of layers and be sure to pack a good pair of water resistant boots to keep the sand out of your socks.
- Choose a tool. You can either dig with a shovel (the messier way) or invest in a "clam gun," a tube that suctions out the sand (and hopefully a clam) from a hole.
- Have fun! Clam digging is hard work, but extremely rewarding. By planning ahead and dressing for the weather, you'll be sure to make the most out of your digging experience.
Come get your fill of razor clams at The Razor Clam Festival in Long Beach on April 19th and 20th. There will be a chowder taste-off, street entertainment and clam digging lessons. The Long Beach Peninsula boasts several lodging choices, from bed & breakfasts to tent camping, so bring your pajamas and make a weekend of it. Visit www.BacktoLongBeachWa.com for more information.