Pismo Clam Research and Recovery (February 2020)
Students and faculty in the Biology Department are working together to help the iconic Pismo clams make a comeback. Once so plentiful that Pismo Beach is named after them, clams large enough to take home and eat have not been seen on beaches in San Luis Obispo County for more than 25 years. Cal Poly scientists and students have been studying populations locally and statewide for several years in hopes of contributing to the species recovery. Since surprisingly little is known about the clam’s biology, current research focuses on the factors that influence the size of the population on beaches, as well as their reproduction and growth. As their understanding of the bivalves grows, researchers hope to create plans that will allow the clams to flourish.