Area Management Biologist
Phone: (907) 235-8191
December 28, 2016
All Eastside Cook Inlet beaches will remain closed to sport and personal use clamming in 2017 due to the continued low abundance of mature size razor clams. Any razor clam harvest in 2017 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 be in effect from 12:01 a.m. Sunday, January 1 through Sunday, December 31, 2017. The affected area runs from the mouth of the Kenai River to the southernmost tip of the Homer Spit.
Abundance of mature sized razor clams remained at a historic low level on both Ninilchik and Clam Gulch beach sections; however, above average recruitment of juvenile size razor clams were detected on both beach sections. At the Ninilchik South beach section, a new cohort of nearly 0.85 million age-1 razor clams was detected. At the Clam Gulch North beach section, approximately 2.5 million juvenile razor clams were detected. The above average recruitment signals that the population may be beginning to rebound. These beach sections will again be surveyed in 2017 so recruitment trends of juvenile size razor clams and natural mortality trends of juvenile and mature size razor clams can be assessed.
The cause of the decline in razor clam abundance on eastside Cook Inlet beaches remains unknown but is thought to have resulted from a combination of poor spawning and/or settling success and high natural mortality of mature size razor clams.
This closure does not affect sport and personal use razor clam regulations on Westside Cook Inlet beaches.