How to Dig Up a Geoduck

Written by michael gordon
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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.

Skill level:

Things you 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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  1. 1

    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.

  2. 2

    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.

  3. 3

    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.

  4. 4

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

  5. 5

    Pull the geoduck up and out by the shell.

Tips and warnings

  • 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.

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