HB 1061

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 of March 27, 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.

Brief History: Passed House: 3/07/19, 98-0.

Committee Activity: State Government, Tribal Relations & Elections: 3/27/19.

Brief Summary of Bill

  • Designates the Pacific razor clam the official state clam of Washington.


Staff: Jarrett Sacks (786-7448)

Background: The Pacific razor clam, Siliqua patula, is a species of shellfish that ranges from California to Alaska. In Washington waters, razor clams grow to a maximum of 6 inches and live for about five years.

Clam digging is a popular recreational activity. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife regulates clam digging season and harvest limits. The state Department of Health monitors water quality and contaminant levels in molluscan shellfish to provide information to the public about where and how to harvest shellfish that are safe to eat.

No state has designated an official state clam, but the state shell of Rhode Island is the quahaug, a type of hard-shelled clam. Washington established a state oyster, the Ostrea lurida, in 2014.

Summary of Bill: The Pacific razor clam is designated as the the official state clam of Washington.

Appropriation: None.

Fiscal Note: Not requested.

Creates Committee/Commission/Task Force that includes Legislative members: No.

Effective Date: Ninety days after adjournment of session in which bill is passed.

Staff Summary of Public Testimony: PRO: Digging for razor clams is an important recreational activity in this state. It is a popular family activity and has a historical tradition. Nearly 400,000 people travel from all over the state to dig razor clams. Razor clams are important for tourism on the Washington coasts.

Persons Testifying: PRO: Jim Franzel, citizen; David Berger, citizen.

Persons Signed In To Testify But Not Testifying: No one.