BIG CROWD for Last Day of the Truncated 2020-21 Season

Diggers at Roosevelt Beach stretched as far as the eye could see, on Sunday, May 30th, 2021, reflecting pent-up demand after a season curtailed by COVID and domoic acid. Photo credit: Ann Norman


Razor clamming exploded in May 2021 when, after a nearly year-long drought, the popular spring season was opened for a few days  This photo was taken on Sunday, May 30th, on the final day of the brief season. Only the Mocrocks management area was open; no Long Beach, no Copalis, no Twin Harbors.  It was a -1.6 tide with the low at 10:26 AM. The turnout was spectacular: 8,698 diggers. Nearly 9,000 diggers. One of highest counts ever recorded in a single management area.

Why all the demand? First the season was curtailed in 2020 due to COVID, and then the clams tested positive for domoic acid, a neurotoxin that leaves the clams alone but is harmful to humans. It was so disappointing to read week after week that the domoic acid test results were still high and spring digging dates wouldn’t happen. The season remained closed until May 2021, and then  only open at limited beaches. Razor clammers must have their clams, and this was the last day of the season. Hence the big big numbers.

Dept. of Fish & Wildlife did not conduct their usual interviews because of COVID concerns, but saw “countless limits coming up the beach.”  The assumption is everybody dug their limit of 15. So over 130,000 clams harvested.

Traffic was intense. Cars were bumper to bumper. But folks were thrilled to get out and get their clams.



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