Clam Digging on the Kenai Peninsula of Alaska
How To Dig Razor Clams - Clam Digging 101
Razor clams are found by the imprint left on the sand surface as the clam's
neck is withdrawn. When a "show" or "dimple" is found, a scoop or two of sand is dug away beside the dimple and the clam is located by reaching into the sand in the side of the hole. Be careful not to dig too close to the dimple or the clam will be damaged.
Almost all clams with broken shells will die, therefore diggers are required
to retain all clams regardless of size. The current limit for clams dug along
the western beaches of the Kenai Peninsula is the first 60 clams dug, regardless
of size or condition. Clams with broken shells are slightly harder to clean,
but their eating quality is not impaired.
Most clams are dug with special narrow bladed clam shovels. These shovels
are available in most Alaskan hardware and sporting goods stores. Clams can
also be dug with a clam "gun" or "tube." The "gun" is simply a pipe or tube of about four-inch diameter with a handle and a small air vent at the closed upper end. Digging is done by pushing the tube down over the clam dimple with a rocking motion. The air vent is then blocked with a finger or thumb and the core of sand, with the clam enclosed, is pulled up and dropped on the beach. Guns do not work well on beaches containing significant
amounts of gravel or rock.
The digger should also be aware that this species has acquired its common
name for a very good reason. Hasty or improper digging techniques often crush
the clam shell. A careless digger reaching into the sand may realize a cut
finger in short order as hands and fingers may become somewhat numb from the
cold water and one does not have the sensitivity to feel the sharp shell.
Introduction | Where to Dig Razor Clams | When to Dig Razor Clams
How to Dig Razor Clams | Cooking & Cleaning
Home | Outdoor Activities
All Content Copyright ©1996-2010
Visual Media Design & Alaska Outdoor Journal
All Rights Reserved