In Maine all clams in the intertidal zone room harvested by hand. The intertidal zone is the area that is above water at low tide and under water at high tide. In other words, the intertidal is the area where the birds drains the end of at low tide. Dredging from boats is enabled in Maine’s subtidal zone (typically for quahogs, surfclams, and mussels).

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Clamming Tools

In Maine soft-shell clamming is done using a seashells hoe (also recognized as rake), a roller, a shell hod, and also hip boots. I know well boots (or waders) save clammers legs and feet dry while lock walk with the clam flats and also tides. Sometimes a shell dredge is used to collect tough shell clams.


The shell hoe (or rake) is a pitchfork, cut-off about 18′ indigenous the tines and then bent at a 70 degree angle.


Some clammers don’t usage a rake, and instead use just their hands. These types of clammers are dubbed hand-diggers.


The bull rake is unique rake with a bucket on it supplied for harvest quahogs. The can be done turn off the next of the boat. (Pic: Ace Simmons the Waldoboro Quahog Pic #2).


The hod (or roller) is a 1/2 bushel basket, created with timber lathes or aluminum, that is provided to bring the clams and also hold them because that rinsing off. Castle are typically provided by hand-diggers, who lean top top the manage of the hod in a push-up like position, allowing the hand digger to not bend over as much. Making use of a hod in this fashion is contempt less tough on a clammers body climate digging with a shell rake.

Onion Bags and also Sleds

Clammers in the southern component of the state have tendency to use use onion bags to hold and transport your clams and also sleds to pull their clams throughout the mud. Onion bags are used since they are less complicated to stack and make washing clams faster. And, of course, reusing bags designed because that onions is an ext sustainable and friendlier come the environment!

Shellfish Harvest Measurement

Traditionally, clams to be measured in pecks and also bushels. There room 4 pecks in a bushel. The weight of the peck or bushel of clams depends on the species, through a bushel of soft shell clams weighing in around 50 lbs, and also a bushel of difficult shell clams weighing around 60 lbs. Many Maine shellfish buyers supplied bushels measurement until the beforehand 1990s, as soon as they switched over to weight measurement. Currently, soft shell clams are sold by load or through clams, while quahogs are marketed by size.

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It is essential to realize the the bushels the the previous were larger than the bushel measurement of today. Because that that reason it is not precise to compare landings in bushels from the 1980’s come landings in bushels today.