Quinault Indian Nation Cooperating On Research To Improve Razor Clam Knowledge

TAHOLAH (April 11, 2006) – Ocean waves pound the beach and wind-driven spray chills the fingers of Quinault Indian Nation (QIN) shellfish biologist Kelly Curtis and tribal technicians on a late winter day near Ocean Shores. The crew is out completing a winter razor clam survey as part of a five-year cooperative effort by QIN and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) to improve estimates of natural razor clam mortality, a critical piece of information used in setting harvest rates.

Razor clams are important to QIN both culturally and economically. Culturally, razor clams have been a part of tribal diets and ceremonies for thousands of years. QIN is also the only Washington tribe that has a commercial razor clam enterprise; a small but vital supplement to tribal incomes. QIN and WDFW co-operatively manage the razor clam resource on off-reservation beaches within the nation’s traditional gathering areas.