5 things to do while razor clam digging

Activities to do when you’re already at the beach.

  1. Mushroom hunting

If you have some time to spare before you dig, take a hike through the local forests to forage for some fresh, wild mushrooms! The coastal forests are home to several delicious varieties including porcinis, King boletes, lobster, chanterelles, and more.

The Wild Mushroom Celebration in Long Beach runs from Oct. 1 — Nov. 15, 2019 and is a great time to learn more about the world of mushrooming. You’ll have the opportunity to enjoy mushroom dinners, participate in cooking demonstrations, and even go on a guided hike with a local mushroom expert, which is advised if you’re new to mushroom identification.

Always research the rules and regulations for the area you plan to go mushroom hunting.

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2. Surf perch fishing

Did you know that Washington has some great surf perch fishing along all razor clam beaches? If you’re already making the trek to the ocean, you can add this inexpensive, fun activity to your plans. And with a 15 fish limit, you may just take home a load of fantastic seafood with this 2-for-1 opportunity.

Surf perch can be caught on a variety of gear, which makes for a fun fishing experience. All you need is a saltwater fishing license, waders, and a basic fishing rod and reel combo that you can cast well. Surf perch hang pretty close to shore in the torrent of breaking waves so they can feed on morsels pulled out by the receding water. A wide variety of natural and artificial baits are used successfully, from spinners, artificial sand worms, minnow-style plugs, clams, and even nightcrawlers work well too.

There are many great resources online to help you get geared up and knowledgeable about this often overlooked and abundant fishery.

Fishing off the rocks.
Fishing off the rocks.

3. Explore the outdoors

A variety of state parks, wildlife areas, and interpretive centers can be found around the shores of the most popular razor clam beaches. Get the best of both worlds by exploring old-growth forests in the afternoon and walking the sandy beaches before or after you dig a limit of clams.

The variety of habitat types along provides the opportunity to see a wide variety of plants and animals. Make sure you bring your binoculars and camera to get a good look at the local wildlife, including elk, blacktail deer, and a variety of resident and migratory birds. In fact, Ocean Shores alone is host to over 300 species of birds! If you’re lucky, you might even spot a gray whale making it’s annual migration south for the winter.

Snowy owl in flight at Ocean Shores.
Snowy owl in flight at Ocean Shores.

4. Build a bonfire on the beach

Is there a better end to a day outdoors than feeling the warmth from a bonfire on the beach? Before you head home, enjoy a relaxing campfire in the sand while you pan fry some fresh razor clams, surf perch, and don’t forget the s’mores. You can usually find firewood in the local area at stores and locals who sell bundles around town. Try out our Zesty Campfire Clams recipe (or one of our other clam recipes here)!

One thing to keep in mind: on ocean beaches, recreational fires must be at least one hundred feet from the dunes, no more than four feet in diameter and no more than four feet high. No fires are allowed on any shellfish bed. (WAC 352–32–125)

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5. Fly a kite

Kites are a great activity for both young and old and add fun to any coastal beach excursion. The prevailing winds from the Pacific mean it’s always kite-flying weather on the coast! Bring your own or buy one as a souvenir at one of the many kite shops. Combine the wind with the miles of sandy coastline and crashing waves, it’s no surprise why Long Beach is home to the Washington State International Kite Festival and World Kite Museum!

Multi-colored kite at the beach.
Multi-colored kite at the beach.

Written by

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is dedicated to preserving, protecting and perpetuating the state’s fish and wildlife resources.

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