Good old Daniel Ayres of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife—he's the Cliff Mass of shellfish-hunting—has declared this weekend safe for clamming. (Populations are healthy, toxins are absent or tiny.)

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  • Reena Kawal

The low tides this season are perfect for dinnertime:

Wednesday, Dec. 2 (6:32 p.m. -1.2 ft.) Long Beach, Twin Harbors

Thursday, Dec. 3 (7:18 p.m. -1.4 ft.) Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks

Friday, Dec. 4 (8:04 p.m. -1.3 ft.) Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks, Kalaloch

Saturday, Dec. 5 (8:51 p.m. -0.9 ft.) Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis, Mocrocks, Kalaloch

Last time I went, we were up before dawn with an army of other flashlight-carrying clammers staggering around like a pack of zombies. Snow fell on the beach (in April) but galoshing back to the beachside hotel room and frying up the clams in butter and garlic and having them with a small glass of wine was the best breakfast in recent memory—anyone's recent memory.

Razor clamming has also inspired one of my favorite parentheticals in Bar Exam:

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Those out digging in the cold sand—mothers with toddlers in small-scale galoshes, old men of the sea with crabby expressions, out-of-towners carrying oversize buckets, one tweaker whose feet were bare but whose mind wore a protective coating of meth—took little notice of the snow.

You can walk to clamming beaches from the battered, but well-loved Iron Springs cabins.