Jan 172013
 
Wolfe Property State Park beach

Wolfe Property State Park beach, Mt. Baker in distance

During the first week of the new year, I took my daughters for an overnight trip to the Kitsap Peninsula just to get away for a couple of days. Every so often, it’s nice for them to spend some time together without their brother. We had some good weather and favorable tides during our trip so we crossed the Hood Canal Bridge to do our first clam dig of the year.

Wolfe Property State Park is a small but fertile beach where you’ll find some decent populations of Manila and other clams. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife seeds the Manila clam population on this beach which explains their abundance.

Wolfe Property State Park Manila clamsWolfe Property State Park Manila clams

Wolfe Property State Park Manila clams

The clams on this beach tend to be somewhat smaller than at other Puget Sound beaches but we easily got our limits that day. Using a hand trowel, we found our clams within an inch or two of the surface in the tidal zone where the sand and small gravel mix.

Besides the good shellfish harvesting, Wolfe Property State Park is also a nice kids’ beach for running around. And with an awesome view of Mt. Baker in the distance, it’s a scenic, quiet place for adults too.  When we got back home, we rewarded our efforts with a big pot of steamed clams with garlic butter sauce.

 

 

Share

Happy as a Clam at Dosewallips State Park

 Posted by on June 22, 2012 at 10:45 pm  Family, Outdoors  No Responses »
Jun 222012
 
Clamming at Dosewallips State Park

Clamming at Dosewallips State Park

On a picture perfect day last weekend, I went clamming with some friends to Dosewallips State Park on the Hood Canal.

Dosewallips is one of my favorite places to harvest clams and oysters in Washington state because it has a scenic beach, there’s a ton of space for everyone, and the shellfish is plentiful. This is an excellent beach for Manila littleneck clams and Pacific oysters.

The Olympics near Dosewallips State Park

The Olympics near Dosewallips State Park

 

In a matter of an hour or so, we were able to harvest our limits of delicious Manila clams. These clams are within the top couple of inches of sand so all you need is a hand trowel to dig for them. It is not uncommon to get your limit of 40 clams within several square yards of digging.

 

Armed with a shucking knife and a bottle of cocktail sauce, we slurped fresh briny oysters right on the beach as they were extracted from their homes. Oysters don’t get any fresher than this!

 

Wide beaches at Dosewallips State Park

Wide beaches at Dosewallips State Park

Dosewallips State Park is comprised of 425 acres and has 5,500 feet of saltwater shoreline facing the Hood Canal. The park is located near Brinnon WA, about 2 1/2 hours from Seattle. It is open for clams from March 1st through October 31st and is open for oysters year-round.

 

Share

Edible Clams of Washington State

 Posted by on March 11, 2012 at 8:27 am  Outdoors  1 Response »
Mar 112012
 
Washington State clam types
Washington state clams

Washington state clams

The cold waters of the Puget Sound produce some of the world’s greatest tasting clams and oysters. Washington State is home to a variety of clams including the Manila and native littleneck clam, butter clam, varnish clam, cockle, horse clam, macoma clam, razor clam, and, last but not least, the world-famous giant geoduck clam.

Washington state has plenty of public access beach shoreline available for clam diggers. But before you grab that shovel and bucket, make sure you can identify the various species of clams and know the regulations. This is very important because harvesting regulations vary by the species and certain clams, such as the butter clam, tend to accumulate biotoxins more readily than other species.

Harvesting clams require a low tide. Certain clams, such as the geoduck, require an extreme low tide (and lots of hard digging) whereas cockles and other clams are closer to the surface and can be harvested easily at moderate low tides with hand tools.

Four types of Washington state clams

Four types of Washington state clams

In the above photo, the clam on the upper left is a butter clam, the upper right is a purple varnish clam, the lower left is a manila clam. and the lower right is a cockle.

Share