With fall upon us, good things are in store on Seabrook’s shore: Razor Clams!
This Northwest rite of passage separates the hardy from the fair-weather folks. Digging for these elusive shellfish is often messy, time consuming and quite possibly the most fun you’ve had at the beach in a long time! The first of these rare, short-season “digs” is set for Oct. 16-18, so get your clam guns (and muck boots!) ready.
The Pacific razor clam (Siliqua patula) is found along beaches from California to Alaska. In Washington, the biggest you’ll get is about six inches long. They are exceptionally meaty and delicious for clam chowder, breaded and sautéed, or prepared in curries.
If you’re new to the ritual, here’s what you’ll need:
- A current Washington State Fishing License (most sporting goods stores sell them—choose from short term or annual shellfish licenses, or get them instantly online at https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov/). Wear it when you’re clamming, on a lanyard is best.
- A clam gun or shovel, found at sporting goods stores and Fred Meyer ($22)
- Waterproof clothing is recommended: waders, slicker or windbreaker, rubber boots, hat
- One “container” per person for clam storage (the catch limit is 15 per day): this can be a hip-clip net, a plastic shopping bag, a gallon Ziploc, your makeup bag, etc
- A good flashlight or lantern for post-sunset digs (they help reveal “show”)
- Access to a tide chart to see the low tide times (optimal for clamming) for Pacific Beaches
Tips to know:
- Look for “show” in the sand, slightly raised and dimpled areas indicative of where clams are dwelling
- People often use sticks or baseball bats to tap on the sand to stimulate “show”
- Cover the hole on the T-bar of your clam gun just before pulling up on the tube, to create a vacuum seal
- Dig fast, and dig deep—what may not be initially revealed might be lurking just inches below
- You break it, you buy it: Casualties such as cracked clamshells, tube-induced dismemberment and catching itty bitty clams still count against your limit.
- Kids (under age 15) don’t need a license, so get them working! Kids make great clam sleuths.
The beach directly fronting Seabrook is part of the Mocrocks beach district as referenced in the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife regulations. As you check for dig dates, make sure they apply to Mocrocks if you’re Seabrook bound. The 2008 tentatively slated dates for Seabrook/Mocrocks are: Oct. 16-18, Nov. 13-16, and Dec. 11-14. Book your cottage now and get ready for some clam-o-rama!
If you need “Clamming 101,” let the Seabrook Cottage Rentals office know and we’ll try our best to get a neighbor to show you the way.
For general razor clam information such as catching, cleaning and cooking, visit here:
For seasonal updates, visit here: