Pacific razor clam
|Pacific razor clam|
|A live Pacific razor clam in water|
|A group of Siliqua patula dug from Quinault Beach, Washington State|
Pacific razor clams can be found along the Pacific West Coast from the eastern Aleutian Islands, Alaska, to Pismo Beach, California. They inhabit sandy beaches in the intertidal zone down to a maximum water depth of about 30 feet (9 m).
This species has an elongated oblong narrow shell, which ranges from 3 to 6 inches (8 to 15 cm) in length in the southern portion of its range, with individuals up to 11 inches (28 cm) found in Alaska. It is similar to the smaller Atlantic razor clam, Siliqua costata, which is found on the East Coast of the United States. The name razor clam is also used for the Atlantic jackknife clam, Ensis directus. While the Atlantic jackknife clam is in the same family as the Pacific razor clam the jacknife clam is in a different genus.
Pacific razor clams are a highly desirable shellfish species and are collected by both commercial and recreational harvesters. Razor clams, like other shellfish, may accumulate dangerous levels of the marine toxin domoic acid. Harvesters should check current public health recommendations by marine authorities before collecting razor clams.
In the United States, razor clam harvesting is typically authorized by state officials several times a year. Harvesters locate the clam by looking for a "show," which can present as either a hole or depression in the sand. Some clams expose their siphons as the surf is receding making them far easier to spot; this behavior is called "necking".
- "Fish and Shellfish: Razor Clams". Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. Retrieved July 2, 2018.
- "Personal Use Clam Fishing:Razor Clam". Alaska Department of Fish and Game. Retrieved July 2, 2018.
- "Fishing & Shellfishing: personal use razor clams". Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. Retrieved July 2, 2018.
- "How to Razor clam". Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. Retrieved July 2, 2018.
- "Digging Razor Clams". Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. Retrieved July 2, 2018.
- "Razor Clam Behavior". Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. Retrieved July 2, 2018.
Media related to Siliqua patula (Pacific razor clam) at Wikimedia Commons