Clam Digging Closed Again for 2019 on the Eastside for the 5th continuous year

Division of Sport Fish
Tom Brookover, Director
Anchorage Headquarters Office
333 Raspberry Road
Anchorage, AK 99518

 

 


Alaska Department of Fish & Game
Sam Cotten, Commissioner
P.O. Box 115526
Juneau, AK 99811-5526
www.adfg.alaska.gov

 

 


View the Emergency Order
Contact: Carol Kerkvliet, Area Management Biologist
(907) 235-8191

Eastside Cook Inlet Beaches Remain Closed to Recreational Clamming

In 2018, all Eastside Cook Inlet beaches will remain closed to recreational clamming due to the continued low abundance of mature sized razor clams. Any razor clam harvest in 2018 will likely delay recovery of east side Cook Inlet razor clam populations. The closure prohibits the taking of any clam species from Eastside Beaches and will go into effect at 12:01 a.m. Monday, January 1, 2018 and will be in effect for the remainder of the year. The affected area runs from the mouth of the Kenai River to the southernmost tip of the Homer Spit.

Since 2014, the annual abundance of mature sized razor clams have remained at historical low levels at Ninilchik and Clam Gulch beaches due to high rates of natural mortality and insufficient recruitment of juvenile (<80mm) and mature (≥80mm) sized razor clams. Although annual recruitment of juvenile and mature sized razor clams have been low, in 2016 and 2017 well above average recruitment of juvenile sized razor clams were detected on both Ninilchik and Clam Gulch beaches. The above average recruitment signals that the population may be beginning to rebound. These beach sections will again be surveyed in 2018 so recruitment trends of juvenile sized razor clams to the beach and to mature sized can be assessed.

Cause of the decline in razor clam abundance remains unknown but may include a combination of heavy surf, habitat changes, environmental stressors and predation. The above average recruitment of juvenile sized razor clams observed in 2016 and 2017 indicates that razor clam abundance on these beaches can rebuild naturally.

This closure does not affect recreational razor clam regulations on Westside Cook Inlet beaches.
If you have any questions, please contact the ADF&G Homer Office at (907) 235-8191.

Razor Clams Closed on the Eastside of Cook Inlet for the 5th continuous year

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Alaska Department of Fish and Game <adfg@public.govdelivery.com>
Fri, Dec 21, 2018, 12:10 PM

Region 2-Southcentral News Release
(Released: December 21, 2018 – Expires: December 31, 2019)
Division of Sport Fish
Tom Taube, Acting Director
Anchorage Headquarters Office
333 Raspberry Road
Anchorage, AK 99518

Alaska Department of Fish and Game
Doug Vincent-Lang, Acting Commissioner
P.O. Box 115526
Juneau, AK 99811-5526
www.adfg.alaska.gov


Contact: Carol Kerkvliet, Area Management Biologist
(907) 235-8191
Eastside Cook Inlet Beaches Remain Closed to Sport Clamming
All eastside Cook Inlet beaches will remain closed to personal use and sport clamming in 2019 since any razor clam harvest will likely delay recovery of the population. These closures prohibit the taking of any clam species from the mouth of the Kenai River to the southernmost tip of the Homer Spit. The closure is effective at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, January 1, 2019 and will be in effect for the remainder of the year. 
From 2009-2015, eastside Cook Inlet razor clams experienced poor recruitment of juvenile sized razor clams and a high natural mortality rate of mature sized razor clams, which both resulted in a significant decline in abundance leading to the closure of the fishery.
Causes of the decline in razor clam abundance remains unknown but may include a combination of heavy surf, habitat changes, environmental stressors and predation. Eastside razor clam populations are beginning to rebuild, but uncertainties remain if it will continue into 2019. Razor clam abundance surveys are scheduled for the spring of 2019 on Ninilchik and Clam Gulch beaches to assess abundance of juvenile and mature sized razor clams, recruitment to the beach and mature size, annual growth, natural mortality, and potential harvest opportunity.
This closure does not affect recreational razor clam regulations on westside Cook Inlet beaches. If you have any questions, please contact the ADF&G Homer Office at (907) 235-8191.
For more information, please contact Area Management Biologist Carol Kerkvliet or Assistant Area Biologist Mike Booz at 907-235-8191.

 

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