Razor Clam Fisheries In East Cook Inlet Still Shut Down For 2022
The following is courtesy of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game:
East Cook Inlet Sport and Personal Use Razor Clam Fisheries Will Remain Closed for 2022
(Homer) – The Alaska Department of Fish and Game conducted razor clam abundance surveys at both Ninilchik and Clam Gulch beaches in April and May 2022. Preliminary results have found the abundance of adult (?80mm) clams to be below the abundance threshold required to open for a limited fishery in both areas. This means the sport and personal use razor clam fisheries in east Cook Inlet will remain closed for 2022.
In the Ninilchik area, razor clam abundance was assessed at the south beach and the adult abundance was 103,020 which was 64% below the abundance threshold to open the limited fishery in the Ninilchik management area. In the Clam Gulch area, razor clam abundance was assessed at the north beach and the adult abundance was 829,572 which was 17% below the abundance threshold to open the limited fishery in the Clam Gulch management area.
“Unfortunately, the number of adult clams on both beaches were not sufficient to support harvest opportunity this season,” said Lower Cook Inlet Area Management Biologist Mike Booz. “Both below average growth and high natural mortality rates resulted in fewer than expected adult clams for both areas.”
East Cook Inlet razor clam sport and personal use fisheries have been closed by emergency order since 2015. Please see emergency orders 2-RCL-7-01-22 and 2-RCL-7-02-22 for more details. In March 2022, the Alaska Board of Fisheries adopted a management plan that requires the adult razor clam abundance to meet or exceed 50% of the historical average abundance to open a limited harvest opportunity. Please review the April 8 press release, for more information on the new shellfish regulations for Southcentral Alaska.
For additional information, please contact Area Management Biologist Mike Booz or Assistant Area Management Biologist Holly Dickson at (907) 235-8191.