Photo by Rashah McChesney/Peninsula Clarion  Ted Nichols, 12, and his father John Nichols, of Chugiak, dig for clams at Whiskey Gulch Saturday May 17, 2014 in Anchor Point, Alaska.  The two were targetting razor clams.

Photo by Rashah McChesney/Peninsula Clarion Ted Nichols, 12, and his father John Nichols, of Chugiak, dig for clams at Whiskey Gulch Saturday May 17, 2014 in Anchor Point, Alaska. The two were targetting razor clams.

Eastside Cook Inlet clams to remain closed

  • Sunday, December 27, 2015 10:12pm
  • News

Clams on the eastside Cook Inlet beaches will remain off-limits for sport and personal use clamming in 2016 after a 2015 survey showed continued low numbers.

It is the second consecutive year for clamming to be closed on all eastside beaches, but restrictions have been in place since 2013 when Alaska Department of Fish and Game biologists first decreased the bag and possession limits, then closed a section of the Ninilchik beach in 2014.

The new closure, announced on Christmas Eve, will begin on Jan. 1 and will be in effect for the remainder of the year. Beaches on the eastside of Cook Inlet will be closed from the mouth of the Kenai River to the southernmost tip of the Homer Spit, according to a Fish and Game media release.

Razor clam abundance has declined dramatically, though the cause of the decline is unknown according to the release.

In early 2015, Fish and Game released data from 2014 abundance studies showing that average razor clam numbers were 80 percent lower than averages recorded during the 22 years prior at Ninilchik’s South Beach and 94 percent lower than averages recorded for the previous 10 years at the beach in Clam Gulch. During 2015 surveys, estimated abundance of juvenile size razor clams on the Ninilchik and Clam Gulch beach sections remained at historic low levels, according to a Fish and Game emergency order. However, at the Oil Pad Access beach station, a large number of juvenile razor clams were observed which resulted in the highest estimate of abundance of juvenile size razor clams for that beach, according to the order.

Fish and Game managers have consistently said they do not understand the cause for the decline but it is currently thought to have resulted from poor spawning, poor settling success and the high natural mortality of mature razor clams.

Fish and Game will survey the beaches further in spring and fall 2016.

—Staff Report

More in News

The badge for the Kenai Police Department (Clarion file)
Walmart briefly evacuated after bomb threat

The investigation is ongoing.

Peninsula Clarion file
Merry voices to fill Kenai chamber

Historical society carolling event returns after hiatus

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
State officials urge vaccination as omicron spreads in US

Omicron was first identified as a “variant of concern” by the World Health Organization on Nov. 26.

Alaska State Troopers logo.
1 hunter dead, another missing after boat hits rough seas off Whittier

The pair were reportedly hunting on Wednesday on Esther Island in Prince William Sound.

Kenai City Council members James Baisden (left) and Deborah Sounart (right) listen as member Teea Winger (center) speaks in support of legislation opposing government COVID-19 mandates, during a meeting of the Kenai City Council on Wednesday, in Kenai.
Kenai council declares opposition to mask mandates

The statement does not change city code or supersede federal law.

Signage indicates that face masks are required for entry to the Soldotna Public Library on March 25, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. The Soldotna City Council voted Wednesday to make mask-wearing optional in city facilities. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Masks recommended, not required in Soldotna city buildings

Council amends measure to make mask-wearing optional

Nick Begich III, seen here in this undated photo, is challenging Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, for his seat in the U.S. House of Representatives saying Alaska needs new energy in Washington D.C. (Courtesy photo / Alaskans for Nick Begich)
Nick Begich III touts fiscal conservatism in US House race

GOP candidate challenges Young’s record

Sockeye salmon. (Photo via Alaska Department of Fish and Game)
Fish and Game seeks comment on 2022 sport fish stocking plan

The Sport Fish Division plans to release approximately 7 million fish into the Alaska water systems over the next five years.

A map shows which parts of the Chugach National Forest are open to motorized winter recreation use for the 2021-2022 season. (Map courtesy of the U.S. Forest Service)
Parts of Chugach National Forest open to snowmachine use

The 2021-2022 winter motorized season will run through April 30.

Most Read