Recreational Clam, Sand Crab and Shrimp Gear


SCH Number
Public Agency
California Fish and Game Commission (CDFGC)
Document Title
Recreational Clam, Sand Crab and Shrimp Gear
Document Type
NOE - Notice of Exemption
Document Description
This proposal would make permanent the emergency prohibition against the recreational use of hydraulic gear. Specifically, it will continue to prohibit the use of such gear for recreational take of clam, sand crab, and shrimp, as well as restrict the possession of such tools. It would also continue to prohibit the mixing of multiple people’s clam take. This proposal also contains several clarifications to the authority and reference portions of several sections, which do not carry any substantive regulatory effect.

Contact Information

David Haug
Agency Name
California Fish and Game Commission
Job Title
Regulatory Analyst
Contact Types
Lead/Public Agency


Alameda, Contra Costa, Del Norte, Humboldt, Los Angeles, Marin, Mendocino, Monterey, Napa, Orange, San Diego, San Francisco, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, Sonoma, Ventura
Other Location Info
Statewide regulation changes pertaining to clams, sand crab, shrimp, and all areas where marine invertebrates may be taken

Notice of Exemption

Exempt Status
Categorical Exemption
Type, Section or Code
Class 7 and Class 8, Sections 15307 and 15308, Title 14, California Code of Regulations
Reasons for Exemption
In compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA; Public Resources Code Section 21000 et seq.), the Commission adopted the regulation by relying on the categorical exemptions contained in CEQA Guidelines, sections 15307 (“Action by Regulatory Agencies for Protection of Natural Resources”) and 15308 (“Action by Regulatory Agencies for Protection of the Environment”) of Title 14, CCR. The exemptions apply to agency actions to protect natural resources and the environment, respectively. Clammers in Tomales Bay and elsewhere have begun using a type of handheld PVC pump that hydraulically liquefies sand around submerged clams to help facilitate their removal (“clamming”), in particular gaper clams (Tresus nuttalli and T. capax). The increased interest in clamming and development of the new hydraulic gear has led to a spike in the level of clamming. More importantly, the ease with which clams can be taken using the new hydraulic gear and the difficulties of enforcing existing rules against individuals use such gear have facilitated additional black market activities. As a result, the Commission took action on February 10, 2021 to temporarily prohibit the use of the gear through an emergency action. The Commission action through a certificate of compliance process makes permanent the prohibition on the use of hydraulic pumps for the take of clams. The action will stop potential unsustainable take and prevent facilitation of related black-market activities. As such, the proposal is an activity that is the proper subject of CEQA’s Class 7 and 8 categorical exemptions.


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