In Washington state, you can dig clams during bright summer days and cool fall nights. Thousands of clam diggers visit Washington state's beaches annually; it's a perfect recreational activity for every age group. For a warm summer romp or a fun night by flashlight, visit Washington's low tides and claim your clams! Grab your shellfish license online (fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov). An annual shellfish license costs $12; a one-day permit is about $8. Three-day razor clam licenses go for $5.40; annual ones are $9. Each digger must use a separate container, but can share digging equipment.
South Razor Clam Beaches
Four prime razor clam beaches for digging with shovels or clam guns are just south of the Quinault Indian Reservation on the Pacific coast near Aberdeen. These beaches attract thousands of clam diggers each year. Mocrocks Beach, off Highway 109, extends from the Copalis River to the southern boundary of the Quinault Reservation near the Moclips River. Copalis Beach extends from the Grays Harbor north jetty to the Copalis River. Just south of there off Highway 105, Twin Harbors Beach extends from the mouth of Willapa Bay north to the south jetty at the mouth of Grays Harbor. Long Beach extends from the Columbia River north to Leadbetter Point off Highway 101.
North Hardshell Clam Beaches
Washington has some great hardshell clam beaches of mixed sand, gravel and mud. Harvest hardshells like Manila and native littlenecks, butter clams, cockles and macomas using shovels or rakes. One popular beach is at Birth Bay State Park in Whatcom County, a few miles south of the Canadian border. This beach sits beside a low bank and wetlands. Hardshell clams are available here, as are littleneck clams and Manila clams in the sandy gravel of the upper intertidal; butter clams, cockles and horse clams are on the lower tides.
North Oyster Beach
One Washington oyster beach open all year is DNR-24 Beach in Mason County. The south end of this beach has been heavily planted with oysters, and the oysters are usually very large. This beach is accessed by a foot trail from Yates Road. It is about a half mile walk from the trail head to the beach, and another mile along the beach, to the oyster beds and littleneck clam areas at the south end of the beach. The beautiful walk is part of the fun of this isolated beach adventure.
Central Whidbey Island Beach
West Penn Cove Beach, at the base of beautiful Whidbey Island, is open for clam and oyster harvesting all year long. Most of this beach is covered with oysters, but there are also Manila clams, native littleneck clams and butter clams in the midlow tidal zone.
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