clam rake

M
Mike B
Back east they use a clam rake with built in basket on it. Plus lots of variations on the theme.

They would be used in shallows and even from a boat in shallow water with a long handle. Anyone ever seen or used one out here? As far as I can tell from the ODFW regs there's no reason not to use it. What do you think?
Mike
 
M
madoc
People rake for cockles mostly - all of the butters, gapers and softshells that I have dug up have been deeper than 12 inches, and the mahoganies were between 6 and 12 - most cockles are just about 4-6 inches below the surface.
 
F
fourgotten
They are perfectly legal and work well if you plan to wade and rake or rake from a boat. They sell them for $23.99 at Walmart in Newport. Been wanting one myself... would work well in a place like Alsea Bay where the substrate is almost entirely sand.
 
F
FishSchooler
I use a rake from home depot, only 13 bucks. It isn't so fancy, but it still catches a limit in less than an hour. It has 4 metal tines about 4 or 5 inches long.
 
F
fish_4_all
I was just out up here Saturday and did okay getting them by accident. Was using a clam gun to get sand shrimp and was getting them and I think horse neck clams, sometimes on the same pull.

I know a rake would have filled a bucket with cockles but all I had was a clam gun.
 
F
fourgotten
fish_4_all said:
Was using a clam gun to get sand shrimp and was getting them and I think horse neck clams, sometimes on the same pull.

If they fit into your clam gun then they probably weren't gaper (horseneck) clams.... unless they were very immature... they were probably the eastern softshells... their habitat sometimes overlaps that of the bay ghost shrimp (AKA sand shrimp) in the Yaquina estuary. Either way, they are darned good eating... but it's important to know... why? 'cause you can get 12 gapers in a day, but 36 softshells... and you wouldn't want to limit yourself to a dozen when you could have three dozen, right?
 
F
fish_4_all
The could be soft shells but I don't know. The pictures from WDFW looked like horse but might not have been. The shells were kinda "soft" but not so bad they didn't hold up for the most part although I did mutilate 3 of them. The biggest horse or soft was 4 inches with the biggest cockle 3.5 inches.

Up here the limit is:
40 clams or 10# of little necks, butters, softs, macoma and cockles.
7 horse clams
and in some places we get a bonus of 24 cockles.

Papers don't have a separate limit here so they fall in the 10# 40 clam limit as far as I know.

What is the best way to tell them apart?

Whatever the limits are taking my 3 kids with me gives one hell of a lot of clams for an awesome pot of chowder!
 
F
fourgotten
fish_4_all said:
Up here the limit is:
40 clams or 10# of little necks, butters, softs, macoma and cockles.
7 horse clams
and in some places we get a bonus of 24 cockles.

Papers don't have a separate limit here so they fall in the 10# 40 clam limit as far as I know.

What is the best way to tell them apart?

DOH! You're in Washington!!! *chuckle* well... forget what I said about limits, then...

Usually size is the key factor... but when dealing with small gapers, the shell shape and siphon tips are the most important keys.

Fat gapers (Tresus capax) are round on the side of the shell opposite the hinge and have a nearly 45-degree angle at the hinge. When viewed from the siphon end (posterior), the shells are evenly proportioned. Pacific gapers (Tresus nutalli) are similar, but have a less rounded shell margin opposite the hinge. The siphons have a leathery skin covering the entire length. The siphon tips (neck tip) of both species often have a horny or leathery flap and often have algae, barnacles, and other saltwater growth on them. The opened siphons have small tentacles surrounding their openings and a blue to red tint within. The maximum size is somewhere around 10 inches in shell length, but most individuals are between 5 and 7 inches.

Eastern softshells (Mya arenaria) are smaller with a more oval profile. When viewed from the posterior, the shells are often unevenly shaped and one is often larger than the other. The siphons have a less leathery skin covering their length and often have a black tip. Rarely do they have any marine growths on them. The maximum size is about inches, but most individuals are between 3 and 5 inches.
 
C
Chief Jim
fish_4_all said:
The could be soft shells but I don't know. The pictures from WDFW looked like horse but might not have been. The shells were kinda "soft" but not so bad they didn't hold up for the most part although I did mutilate 3 of them. The biggest horse or soft was 4 inches with the biggest cockle 3.5 inches.

Up here the limit is:
40 clams or 10# of little necks, butters, softs, macoma and cockles.
7 horse clams
and in some places we get a bonus of 24 cockles.

Papers don't have a separate limit here so they fall in the 10# 40 clam limit as far as I know.

What is the best way to tell them apart?

Whatever the limits are taking my 3 kids with me gives one hell of a lot of clams for an awesome pot of chowder!

In Oregon, each person has to dig their own clams unless they have in their possession a handicap permit, which allows someone else to dig for them. Check Oregon regs and learn the difference between the various species. ODFW officials don't have much of a sense of humor when it comes to being over limit.
Chief Jim
 
F
fish_4_all
Is a good thing I am in Washington and not Oregon then.

I am pretty sure now that they are all soft shells of some kind. I found some horse clam shells on the beach and they are so much tougher than the ones I got.

I do think that I got at least 3 different softies though. Shorties, softs and some sort of longer neck ones. A few pulled their necks all the way in. Some almost did and those 2 kinds were easy to get the tough skin off them. The other one had a massively long neck, I would say 4-6 inches and had a really tough leathery sheath on it that was really hard to get off.

Got a few cockles but the tide was way too high. But the kids had fun and I had fun with them.

As for the kids limit, they did just fine diggin their own. Wasn't too hard for them to pull a clam gun and operate a shovel so I think they should be just fine getting their own limits. Even if I help them like we do right along side WDFW officers; as long as they participate they can get a limit too. Anyway, I am not gonna do all the work myself, 160 clams is a lot more than I want to dig. Not to mention raking 96 cockles.
 
F
fish_4_all
Mike B, the clam rakes you talked about should work fine but might be hard to work in some places depending on how much gravel is around. I got a rake, standard garden type and it worked just fine so the ones made for clamming souled work even better.
 

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