House Bill 1061 would designate the Pacific Razor Clam (Siliqua patula) as the official Washington state clam. Dan Frizzell from the Washington State House Democratic Caucus has more:
The Evergreen state has a lot of official state symbols. Our bird is the willow goldfinch, the state dance is the square dance, and everyone knows the rhodie is the state flower. But somehow we’ve managed to get by for 130 years without an official state clam. That could change this year if Pacific razor clam aficionados get their way. Representative Brian Blake’s bill to make it happen got an OK from the House State Government Committee and it could get a vote of the full House on Friday. For Blake it boils down to economic clout of thousands of recreational razor clammers, and good eating.
BLAKE: “Thousands and thousands of people will visit our communities and ocean beaches on a clam opener. The economic impact is huge. It really drives a tourist economy on the coast, and gives it some stabilization in the winter months. And I’m a connoisseur of razor clam sushi and always like to have a raw razor clam on the beach while I’m there. The flavor is extraordinary.” [:26]
Blake, a long-serving Democrat from Aberdeen, has a Republican cosponsor on his razor clam bill. It’s been a tough political fight to out-maneuver a dedicated geoduck faction, but it looks like bipartisanship is going to win this battle of the clams. Reporting from Olympia, I’m Dan Frizzell.