HOUSE BILL REPORT
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.
As Passed House:
March 7, 2019
Title: An act relating to designating the Pacific razor clam as the state clam.
Brief Description: Designating the Pacific razor clam as the state clam.
Sponsors: Representatives Blake and Walsh.
State Government & Tribal Relations: 1/16/19, 2/22/19 [DP].
Passed House: 3/7/19, 98-0.
HOUSE COMMITTEE ON STATE GOVERNMENT & TRIBAL RELATIONS
Majority Report: Do pass. Signed by 9 members: Representatives Gregerson, Chair; Pellicciotti, Vice Chair; Walsh, Ranking Minority Member; Goehner, Assistant Ranking Minority Member; Appleton, Dolan, Hudgins, Mosbrucker and Smith.
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 and 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.
Staff Summary of Public Testimony:
(In support) The Pacific razor clam is the most important clam in the state. Clamming is a popular family activity and a historical tradition, dating back to the first native peoples in the state. Clams are also an important economic resource, once as ubiquitous in cans as tuna fish are today. If the Pacific razor clam is named the official state clam, people will care more about the species and will be spurred to protect its home and environment.
Persons Testifying: Representative Blake, prime sponsor; Luke McNally-Crain; and David Berger, Projectrazorclam.org.
Persons Signed In To Testify But Not Testifying: None.