Some of my favorite childhood memories involve going clamming. What joy there is in crossing the beach in hot pursuit of the wily razor clam and what pleasure there is concluding the hunt with a clambake. Clams are quite fun to catch and even more fun to eat.
The Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife has given the go-ahead for some razor clam digging in November. Their season update approves digging at Twin Harbors November 14 – 17; Long Beach, Copalis and Mocrocks for November 14 – 15; and Kalaloch Beach for Monday, November 16 only. Additional dates have been tentatively scheduled through January. It is important to always verify the approved dates for clamming before you go out.
If you do decide to go clamming–and really, you should, it really is quite fun–you might want to take advantage of the special deal being offered by the Kalaloch Lodge in the Olympic National Park. Their Clam Digger Lodging Package offers clam diggers at all levels from first-timers to old hands a night of lodging in their beautiful facility conveniently located near to the beach plus breakfast in the morning. It’s available Monday, November 16, and is tentatively scheduled for Friday, December 4, Saturday, December 5, Thursday, December 31 and Friday, January 1, subject to approval from the Washington and National Park Services. Newbie clammers can book a room using the code CLAMDIGNEW for a package that starts at $169 and includes a night at the lodge, a bucket, shovel and net and breakfast for two the next morning. Clam diggers who already have their own tools can use the code CLAMDIGPRO for a package that starts at $129 and includes the room and breakfast. Guests can stay additional nights for just $99 a night, an excellent deal. Besides clamming there are all kinds of things to do and see in the Olympic NP which contains beaches, rain forest valleys, mountain peaks and far, far more different types of plants and animals than you can name. It’s one of the most beautiful places in our state, and, honestly, maybe in the whole world.
To learn more about the Kalaloch Lodge or to book your clamming experience, visit their website. (Even if you’ve decided that clamming is just not for you, it’s an excellent vacation spot and the lodge offers a bunch of great package deals aimed at a variety of interests.) To learn more about the Olympic National Park, visit theirs.
All the information you need to know about clamming in Washington (including how to clean and cook the tasty things) can be found in the Razor Clam section of their website.
Some basics: a license is required for any digger 15 years or older. Any 2009 annual shellfish/seaweed license or combination fishing license is still valid or you can get a razor-clam only license available in annual or three-day only versions. Buy a license online, by phone at 866.246.9453 or in person at any of the more than 600 authorized license vendors. ALWAYS check the weather and surf conditions before heading down to the beach so that you know what you’re facing and, seriously, don’t be stupid about the ocean. It may be a beautiful source of bounty but “killer waves” is a literal expression sometimes.