Summary Report of the 2008 Commercial Fishery for Razor Clams (Siliqua patula)


Published: October 2008

Author(s): Lorna L. Wargo

Fishery Objectives and Preseason Planning

A public meeting was held in March for commercial diggers and razor clams buyers at Raymond High School. The major discussion topic was when to schedule the 2008 fishery. The majority of diggers and dealers support a mid-May start. A contingent prefers an early start as possible, while another group would rather begin later in May or June to benefit from better summer weather.

Three factors largely determine the start date: the end of the recreational razor clam season, biotoxin levels, and tides. By practice, the commercial fishery opens only after the end of the recreational fishery. Separating the two makes it more difficult for sport diggers to illegally dig, possess or sell commercial quantities of clams, and simplifies recovering clams in the event of a Department of Health product recall. Due to the absence of any significant biotoxin events, the commercial fishery has enjoyed a couple of years with predictable and stable schedules.