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Local legislator tries again to make Pacific razor clam official state clam

Senator Dean Takko is asking legislators to designate the Pacific razor clam as the official state clam.

In his pre-filed bill, it states “The Pacific razor clam, Siliqua patula, is endemic to the Pacific Northwest, abundant on Washington’s sandy coastal beaches, and an important part of the cultural identity of the state.”

The Senate bill is identical to a 2018 bill also introduced by the 19th Legislative District Representatives.

In 2018, Representatives Blake and Walsh introduced HB 1061 that would have made the same designation. After passing the House on a unanimous yes vote, that bill was returned to committee in the Senate.

Both bills cite that in recent years, as many as eight million clams are harvested annually.

“The oblong shell of the Pacific razor clam is golden-hued, symmetrical, and especially handsome. The flesh is meaty and makes for premier table fare and a healthy, organic, wild food source.”

The bill also states that razor clamming is not only a tradition for many families, but it brings thousands of people to the coastal area each year and provides “healthy exercise and outdoor experiences” as well as boosts the local economy.

If approved, the Razor clam would join the state oyster Ostrea lurida (proposed by 19th District Senator Brian Hatfield), the Lady Washington as the state ship, the orca as the state marine mammal, and other official representatives for the state.

The Senate bill will be introduced officially when the Legislative session begins on January 13.

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