Each clam tide brings thousands of visitors to Ocean Shores and surrounding beaches. Are you curious about this northwest tradition and how to join in on the adventure?
Oyhut Bay is here to share local secrets and everything you need to know about clam digging in Ocean Shores.
The most important information is the guidelines from the state fish and wildlife department. “The best digging typically occurs one to two hours before low tide, ” said Dan Ayres, coastal shellfish manager for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, and notes that digging is not allowed at any beach before noon.
All diggers age 15 or older must have an applicable 2018 license to harvest razor clams on any beach. Licenses, ranging from a three-day razor clam license to an annual combination fishing license, are available on WDFW’s website and from licensed vendors around the state. Once you have a license or know where to pick one up you are ready to plan your trip!
Razor clams are found primarily on the intertidal coastal beaches. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) divides the harvest areas into major management zones.
- Long Beach from the Columbia River north to the mouth of the Willapa Bay
- Twin Harbors from Willapa Bay north to the south jetty at the mouth of Grays Harbor
- Copalis Beach from the north jetty at the mouth of Grays Harbor to the Copalis River
- Mocrocks from the Copalis River to the south boundary of the Quinault Indian Reservation
Our Ocean Shores beaches are part of the Copalis Zone.
The closest beach approach to Oyhut Bay for digging is the Taurus approach. Just a few minutes drive North on Ocean Shores Blvd.
The Ocean Shores- North Beach Chamber has put together a handy printable guide with information each beach to dig at during particular tides.
Book your beach home at Oyhut Bay to enjoy plenty of time to explore. Each of our homes has a comfortable porch to leave those sandy boots on after a quick rinse from an outside spigot. Give the clams a rinse too and gather the family inside. Our Oyhut Bay homes are fully stocked to enjoy your beach bounty. With spacious kitchens, you can share in the cooking and cleaning while you make memories. You will find cookware, utensils and everything you need to prepare a feast. Browse our gallery of homes to find the perfect one. A trip to the Oyhut Bay Fresh Market to gather supplies can offer everything you need from fresh produce to beer and wine to toast your day.
To fully enjoy your experience make sure you dress for success. Beach weather can change in an instant and you need to be prepared. Layers are the standard in the PNW and rubber boots are a must as you will be in the surf a bit. There are many retailers in Ocean Shores that offer everything you need from clam guns and shovels to boots and hoodies.
Make sure you have all the proper gear you need:
- clam license
- clam gun or shovel
- container for your clams for each person
- lanterns, headlamps or flashlights as most digs are evening hours
- your camera to capture your memories
Part of the fun of clam digging is finding where the clams are “showing” look for a small hole or dimple in the sand. Sometimes you can even see the clam “spitting” water out, the kids will enjoy when this happens.
Here is a great video to enjoy from Dan Ayres.
Safety first. Never dig with your back to the surf, rogue waves can surprise you. Stay below your knees depth in the surf and be aware of your surroundings.
If you have young beachgoers why not throw a few sand toys in the car and designate them an area to dig or sand sculpt.
Our best beach secret for kiddos is baby powder. Sprinkle on the skin before brushing off the sand, it dries up moisture and sand smoothes off without scratching.
Now that you have a bucket of clams, what’s next? Sunset Magazine offers a great tutorial on cleaning razor clams.
The next clam digs dates on the calendar for 2018 are :
- Fall Dates:Oct. 11, Thursday, 8:58 p.m.; -0.6 feet; Twin Harbors, MocrocksOct. 12, Friday, 9:41 p.m.; -0.3 feet; Twin Harbors, CopalisOct. 13, Saturday, 10:26 p.m.; +0.1 feet; Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
Oct. 25, Thursday, 7:55 p.m.; -0.5 feet; Twin Harbors, Copalis
Oct. 26, Friday, 8:36 p.m.; -0.7 feet; Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
Oct. 27, Saturday, 9:19 p.m.; -0.7 feet; Twin Harbors, Copalis
Oct. 28, Sunday, 10:08 p.m.; -0.6 feet; Twin Harbors, Mocrocks
Oyhut Bay Seaside Village is your perfect home base for enjoying all that Ocean Shores has to offer outdoors in the winter. Everything from clam digging to storm watching, bird watching, surfing, and beachcombing.
Watch for our next winter getaway guide all about surfing in Ocean Shores.
Get ready for a new adventure when you visit Oyhut Bay- Seaside Village!