Seattle Outsider Musings

Mark Your Calendar

Recreational clamming, anyone?
Washington state’s official season for razor-clam digs begins April 14 (see schedule/locations below and the following Washington Department of Health’s disclaimer):

The [DOH] has found no evidence of radioactive contamination in Washington shellfish due to damage sustained by a nuclear power plant in Fukushima, Japan in 2011.

If you are both sufficiently reassured, and are over the age of 15, obtain a current license before donning waterproof shoes and gathering your pails to head off to the shoreline to harvest your limit of 15 clams per day.

WA razor clam beaches

–  April 14, Monday, 6:46 a.m.; +0.2 feet; Twin Harbors
–  April 15, Tuesday, 7:24 a.m.; -0.3 feet; Twin Harbors, Long Beach
–  April 16, Wednesday, 8:03 a.m.; -0.6 feet, Twin Harbors, Long Beach
–  April 17, Thursday, 8:43 a.m.; -08 feet, Twin Harbors, Long Beach
–  April 18, Friday,9:26 a.m.; -08 feet; Twin Harbors Long Beach, Mocrocks
–  April 19, Saturday, 10:14 a.m.; -0.7 feet, Twin Harbors, Long Beach, Copalis, Mocrocks
–  April 20, Sunday, 11:06 a.m.; -0.4 feet Twin Harbors, Long Beach, Copalis, Mocrocks

Visit http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish/razorclams/current.html for further information.

geoduck7
Andrew Zimmern, of TV’s Bizarre Foods, sizing things up.
Speaking of shellfish, if you’re not from the Pacific Northwest you’ve probably never heard of a geoduck, pronounced “gooey-duck” (of native American origin meaning “dig deep”), aka Panopea generosa?  It’s the Latin name that kind of gives it all away: this is the world’s largest burrowing clam.  They are abundant in the inland waters of Puget Sound, British Columbia and Alaska, the largest reported recreationally-culled specimen weighing-in at an astonishing 8.16 pounds.  Oh baby, that’s the makins’ for a lot of linguini with clam sauce!

But first ya gotta get over the amazing… well, er, physicality of these gigantic-sized mollusks, whose siphons and mantles are so large that they cannot be withdrawn into their shells.  Just ask Today Show morning television hosts Hoda Kotbe and Kathy Lee Gifford.  And this is supposed to be “family” fare? Never mind…

Hoda and Kathy Lee
Should you want to truly get into a virtual geoducks state of mind, check out “Three Feet Under”, the award-winning 2002 documentary film produced and directed by Justin Bookey, available on DVD.  It includes not only practical tips on digging geoducks for the uninitiated, but a wealth of historical, scientific, cultural and comic insights into the King of Clams (i.e. Evergreen College in Olympia adopted the geoduck as its official mascot, along with the motto “Omnia Extares” (translation: let it all hang out).  This from an institution of higher learning known for um, alternative thinking…

Happy Tax Day.   And let me know if you need a good recipe for clams, of any sort!

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