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Why Washington coast clam fans are addicted to the hunt

Digging for razor clams is the perfect excuse for a trip to the coast. Sponsored by Grays Harbor County.

GRAYS HARBOR, Wash. — There's buried treasure on Pacific Northwest ocean beaches.

Bounty anyone can dig.

Razor clams are in the sand, on the menu, and a big part of coastal culture.

"It's pretty addictive and not to mention they're delicious to eat,” said Amy Spoon, a Grays Harbor local who organizes women's only hunting and fishing adventures and documents them on social media. One of her favorite hunts is for razor clams. She's kind of a clamfluencer.

"That's perfect! Clamming is something I totally push on people," she laughed when we mentioned the term to her.

She says it's the ultimate entry-level outdoor adventure.

"It's one of those things that the whole family can come do — it's really easy,
she said. "You literally don't need to know anything, there’s very minimal gear, the licenses that you need are really affordable.”

And her favorite time to dig? After the sun slips away.

“I love digging at night. It's really cool to look up and down the beach at all the lights going on. It's a family thing, it's a solo thing, it's a great experience."

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife decides when it's legal to dig. Another sure sign it's a dig day? Spotting Dave Allard selling his wares outside the Green Lantern Pub — a clam digger hangout. He builds clam guns (tubes used to extract clams from the sand) in his Sequim garage, then travels three and a half hours each way to sell them on the coast for $120 a gun. Dave's design is inspired by injury.

“I used to work for the state and I broke my back at work and I didn't want to give up clamming," he said. 

So he built a clam gun that’s easy to slide out of the sand. He admits he's addicted.

“It's cool, it's a challenge you go out and you gotta hunt, this is not like regular clams where you just dig. You go out and hunt for them.”

But it isn't just about the clams. It's about the coast.

"Look at where you are — you're in probably the cleanest air in the country, right here right along the coast of the Pacific Northwest. You can't get much better,” Dave declared.

Razor clamming is guaranteed to get you closer to the ocean. Much closer. Maybe even up to your shoulder in a sandy hole closer. And it's open to all, young and old.  

As long as folks harvest only on days when it’s legal and stick to that 15 clam limit — there's enough treasure buried on Washington's coast for anyone willing to dig for it.

“They are literally everywhere so there's no secret spots," Spoon said as clams began to show up as small craters in the sand during a low tide.
"Anyone can come out here anywhere, take a spot on this beach go out and get clams." 

This story was sponsored by Grays Harbor County. For more information about visiting Grays Harbor go to visitgraysharbor.com.

Sponsored by Grays Harbor County. KING 5's Evening celebrates the Northwest. Contact us: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Email.

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