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Pismo City Council to look into funding study on clam restoration

The Pismo Beach Clam – it’s large size and delicious flavors used to draw in people trying to capture them from around the world.

“It’s a fun thing for a large group, we used to come in large groups from the valley,” says Tony Rodriguez Jr. who used to clam at Pismo Beach.

“We clammed here in the 50’s back when they used to have the old clam stand down in Oceano,” Fisherman Larry Royal tells us.

Now those days are over, some fisherman saying that all that’s left on the beaches are clams that are under the legal size limit of four inches wide to take.

“My grandchildren have never seen a legal clam, my daughters have only seen a few of them because the last legal clams that I got were in the late 70’s and early 80’s,” Royal says.

The Pismo Beach City Council might be stepping in to change that. At Tuesday night’s meeting, they’ll decide whether or not to give funding to a study that’s already underway by Cal Poly that will potentially find out what caused the clams to leave.

“The studies show there’s lots of clams in areas south of here. We want to find out why they grew there and not here and if we can find out why – maybe we can find out a way to restore the clamming here in Pismo Beach; our brand is clam capitol of the world – we’d certainly like to have the clams to back up that story,” explains Pismo Beach Mayor-Elect, Ed Waage.

Many people suspect that the local otter population is to blame, as they have to eat at least a quarter of their body weight every day in order to stay alive.

Some now argue however that other organizations should be looking into the cause, and not spending tax payer dollars on this.

“It’s strange the city wants to spend a lot of money doing a study when fish and game studies these all the time, they come out here and dig trenches, they look – why doesn’t the city go to fish and game and ask them?,” Royal asks.

The public is welcome to come and weigh in on this topic at Tuesday night’s city council meeting, starting at 5:30 p.m.

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