Area Management Biologist
December 24, 2015
Due to low razor clam abundances, all eastside Cook Inlet beaches will remain closed to clamming in 2016. The closure prohibits the taking of any clam species from eastside Cook Inlet beaches and will go into effect at 12:01 a.m. Friday, January 1, 2016 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.
In 2015, razor clam abundance surveys were conducted on five beach sections that had historically been monitored. Estimated abundances of mature size razor clams were at historic low levels on all beaches. The cause of the decline is unknown but is thought to have resulted from poor spawning and/or settling success and high natural mortality of mature size razor clams. Additional annual abundance surveys will be conducted in the spring and fall of 2016 to assess razor clam abundance trends.
In 2013, the razor clam bag and possession limit was decreased by emergency order from 60 to the first 25 clams dug for all eastside Cook Inlet beaches. In 2014, a section of the Ninilchik beach was closed to the harvest of clams and the razor clam bag and possession limit was decreased from 60 to the first 25 clams dug on the remaining eastside beaches. In 2015, east side Cook Inlet razor clam beaches were closed on March 1.
This closure does not affect razor clam regulations on westside Cook Inlet beaches.