How to Dig Up a Geoduck

Updated July 20, 2017

Digging up a geoduck (gooey duck) is a very challenging, time- consuming, messy task. However, ask any geoduck fan, and they will tell you it's well worth the battle.

Find the clam necks (siphons) among the muck and grass on the exposed tidal plain. If you do not see them, watch for the clams to expel, or squirt, the seawater. The bigger squirts are the geoducks.

Place the barrel ring/tube over the clam neck or the hole from where it squirted. Make sure the neck or hole is in the centre of the ring.

Begin digging the mud and water out of the ring and push the ring down as you dig down. This keeps the hole from collapsing back in on itself with mud and water.

Dig down until you have the clam exposed, usually about 3 feet.

Pull the geoduck up and out by the shell.


Make sure you know the daily limit, usually 3 geoducks. Remember, the geoduck cannot retract its siphon completely. Therefore, if the exposed clam has no siphon/neck visible, it is not a geoduck.


Obey the harvest laws and limits. The majority of the low-tide times are during the winter months. Avoid hypothermia.

Things You'll Need

  • Private beach or public beach that allows clam digging
  • Permit or license to harvest clams/shellfish
  • Shovel (spade-type)
  • 3 1/2-foot section of a barrel or 55-gallon drum
  • Appropriate clothes (you will be wet, muddy, and possibly cold)
  • A tide that is down at least 2 feet
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About the Author

Michael Gordon is a former Marine who later attended Vincennes University, Indiana State University, and earned his master's degree from Indiana Wesleyan University. He has been a middle school teacher since 1993 and has written for Demand Studios since April, 2008.