Region 2-Southcentral News Release
(Released: January 02, 2020 – Expires: December 31, 2020)
|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
Contact: Mike Booz, Area Management Biologist
Eastside Cook Inlet Beaches Remain Closed to Sport Clamming
(Homer) – All eastside Cook Inlet beaches remain closed to sport clamming in 2020 because any harvested razor clams will likely delay recovery of the population. The closure is effective 12:01 a.m. Friday, January 3 through 11:59 p.m. Thursday, December 31, 2020. The closure prohibits the taking of any clam species from the mouth of the Kenai River to the southernmost tip of the Homer Spit.
From 2009–2015, eastside Cook Inlet razor clams experienced poor recruitment of juvenile sized razor clams and a high natural mortality rate of adult sized razor clams, both of which resulted in a significant decline in abundance leading to the closure of the fishery. In 2019, adult razor clam abundances did not improve and remained below average at Ninilchik and Clam Gulch beaches. 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 Cook Inlet razor clam populations are rebuilding, but it is uncertain if the trend will continue into 2020.
“Razor clam studies will be conducted again in the spring of 2020 on Ninilchik and Clam Gulch beaches,” stated Area Management Biologist Mike Booz. “Results will be used to assess potential harvest opportunity after adult abundances are available in late May.”
This closure does not affect sport razor clam regulations on westside Cook Inlet beaches.
For additional information, please contact Area Management Biologist Mike Booz or Assistant Area Biologist Holly Dickson at (907) 235-8191.