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More and more people taking clams from Pismo Beach - KSBY.com | San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Area News

More and more people taking clams from Pismo Beach

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California Department of Fish & Wildlife California Department of Fish & Wildlife

If you've been to Pismo Beach lately, you might have noticed a lot more clams in the water and along the shore.

While regulations are in place to protect the clam population, not everyone is abiding by them, according to the California Department of Fish & Wildlife and it's proving to be an issue.

"There's kind of clams all over the place I was pointing them out to my granddaughter," said beachgoer, Mike Mohr.

Though abundant in the early 90's, the population was not as prosperous in the 2000's. In 2015, however, hundreds of clam seeds were tracked right in our own backyard.

Grant Waltz is part of a research team at Cal Poly who has been following them.

"Part of what we're working to find out is why did we see the pulse? What is that related to? Are these clams from local adult clams? Are they from a different area?," said Waltz who is a staff research assistant.

Most of those clams first tracked are about two inches in diameter.

"I think people are now finding them just because they are getting bigger. they are easier to detect if you're out in the sand," Waltz said.

Game Warden Chris Foster patrols the beach as a lot more people are not only noticing them, but they're also taking them. This past month it's been busy.

"Just myself, I've had at least 40 clam cases totaling maybe about 2,000 clams," Foster said. 

Several beachgoers we talked to were unfamiliar with the guidelines so here's what you need to know:

*Clams must measure 4.5 inches from one side to the other

*A fishing license is required

*Clams may be taken during daylight hours only

*There's a cap of 10 clams per person

"I'd say it's a big role for everybody to take part in so that we can have the unique wildlife for other people to experience," Foster concluded.

California Department of Fish & Wildlife says this past month it's had a total of 150 to 200 clam cases. Cal Poly says it will continue to monitor the clam population here and across Southern California.

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