Division of Sport Fish
Dave Rutz, Director

Anchorage Headquarters Office
333 Raspberry Road
Anchorage, AK 99518


Alaska Department of Fish and Game
Doug Vincent-Lang, Commissioner

P.O. Box 115526
Juneau, AK 99811-5526
www.adfg.alaska.gov


Advisory Announcement
(Released: December 20, 2021 - Expires: December 31, 2022)

CONTACT: Mike Booz
Area Management Biologist
(907) 235-8191

East Cook Inlet Beaches Remain Closed to Personal Use Clamming in 2022

(Homer) - All east Cook Inlet beaches remain closed to personal use clamming in 2022 to allow adult razor clam abundances to continue to rebuild. The closure is effective 12:01 a.m. Saturday, January 1 through 11:59 p.m. Saturday, December 31, 2022. The closure prohibits the taking of any clam species from the mouth of the Kenai River to the southernmost tip of the Homer Spit.

In 2021, adult (>3.1”) razor clam abundances declined from the 2020 abundances at Ninilchik beaches but increased by 12% at Clam Gulch beaches. The 2021 adult abundances at both beaches were still below their historical averages. Juvenile razor clam abundances were above their historical averages at Ninilchik and Clam Gulch beaches. From 2020 to 2021, natural mortality of adult razor clams was high at both beaches with approximately 69% lost at Ninilchik beaches and approximately 84% lost at Clam Gulch beaches. The causes of this high natural mortality rate remain unknown, but may include a combination of heavy surf, habitat changes, environmental stressors, and predation.

ADF&G has submitted Proposal 257 to the Alaska Board of Fisheries to implement a management plan for east Cook Inlet razor clams, which will be discussed at the statewide miscellaneous shellfish meeting scheduled March 11-18, 2022, in Anchorage. The intention of the plan is to direct ADF&G in the management of the sport and personal use razor clam fisheries in east Cook Inlet and will structure a limited fishery that provides a small harvest opportunity when the razor clam population is above a sustainable abundance threshold but below the historical abundance level. The proposal can be reviewed on the Alaska Board of Fisheries webpage and online written comments to the proposal can be submitted on the Board of Fisheries Submit Written Comments webpage.

“Razor clam abundance surveys will be conducted again in the spring of 2022 on Ninilchik and Clam Gulch beaches, which will provide estimates of adult clam abundances to assess the potential for a limited harvest opportunity,” stated Area Management Biologist Mike Booz. “Razor clams continue to show the ability to rebuild on east Cook Inlet beaches but due to poor growth and high rates of natural mortality we are not seeing an improvement of adult clam abundances.” For more detailed information on east Cook Inlet razor clams, check out the Online Fishing Forum: What's Going on With East Cook Inlet Razor Clams? on the ADF&G YouTube Channel.

In conjunction with this restriction, EO 2-RCL-7-01-22 was issued December 20, 2021, and closed all east Cook Inlet beaches sport clamming in 2022, effective 12:01 a.m. Saturday, January 1 through 11:59 p.m. Saturday, December 31, 2022. The closure prohibits the taking of any clam species from the mouth of the Kenai River to the southernmost tip of the Homer Spit.

For more information, please contact Area Management Biologist Mike Booz or Assistant Area Management Biologist Holly Dickson at 907-235-8191.

#21-3258