The Alaska Department of Fish and Game has announced a 25 clam bag and possession limit for razor clams harvested from eastside Cook Inlet beaches. The restrictions are in effect from 12:01 a.m. this Thursday until midnight December 31 and affects the area extending from the mouth of the Kenai River to the southernmost tip of the Homer Spit.
Department officials explained that concern for declining clams on Ninilchik Beach prompted the new limits, though decline hasn’t been noted on other beaches. They say the limits are being put in place to “minimize the shifting of effort and harvest between beaches.”
From 1,500,000 exploitable clams in 2011, this year there are only about 79,000 clams, marking the lowest level recorded since 1990.
Biologists say they’re not yet sure why the clams are declining, but are think it may be a result of poor spawning or settling success.