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Cal Poly researchers study the clam population in Grover Beach

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Posted at 9:07 PM, May 29, 2021

A group of Cal Poly students and staff are working to restore the population of clams at Pismo and Grover Beaches.

Nearly 30 researchers went to Grover Beach early this morning to dig up small clams from the sand.

A research team led by Cal Poly professor Ben Ruttenberg has studied clams at Pismo Beach since 2015.

Ruttenberg says there used to be an abundance of clams along central coast beaches but the population has declined due to environmental conditions.

The scientists hope to learn about the clams' growth rates mortality rates and how much they move on the beach.

"We're hopeful that someday in the future there might be a recreational fishery for Pismo clams on Pismo beach again and that would mean a lot to the local community," said graduate student Marissa Bills.

"The sizes of the clams really dropped in the '90s, They used to be really big and we haven't seen big clams for quite a while but the sizes appear to be coming back, and to be able to monitor how the sizes are progressing, how big they're getting its really useful information for us," said student research assistant Robert Moon.

In the coming weeks the group hopes to get the community involved in their research.