House of Representatives
Office of Program Research
State Government & Tribal Relations Committee
This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.
Brief Description: Designating the Pacific razor clam as the state clam.
Sponsors: Representatives Blake and Walsh.
Hearing Date: 1/16/19
Staff: Jason Zolle (786-7124).
The Pacific razor clam, known by its scientific name Siliqua patula, is a species of shellfish that lives on many Pacific coast beaches in Washington. Its range extends from central California to Alaska. The Pacific razor clam has an olive-green or olive-brown shell and, in Washington, typically lives for up to five years and grows up to six inches in length.
Digging for razor clams is a popular recreational activity; the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife (WDFW) reports that as many as tens of thousands of diggers flock to beaches in Washington on a single weekend day. The WDFW regulates clam digging seasons and harvest limits.
No state has designated an official state clam, although the state shell of Rhode Island is the quahaug (or hard clam). Washington established a state oyster in 2014.
Summary of Bill:
The Pacific razor clam is the official state clam of Washington.
Fiscal Note: Not requested.
Effective Date: The bill takes effect 90 days after adjournment of the session in which the bill is passed.