In Maine every clams in the intertidal zone are harvested through hand. The intertidal zone is the area that is over water at short tide and also under water at high tide. In other words, the intertidal is the area where the tide drains out of at low tide. Dredging from watercrafts 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 utilizing a seashells hoe (also well-known as rake), a roller, a seashells hod, and hip boots. I know well boots (or waders) save clammers legs and feet dry while lock walk with the clam flats and tides. Periodically a clam dredge is used to collect difficult shell clams.


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


Some clammers don’t use a rake, and instead use just their hands. These varieties of clammers are referred to as hand-diggers.


The bull rake is one-of-a-kind rake through a bucket on it supplied for harvesting quahogs. The can be done turn off the side of the boat. (Pic: Ace Simmons of Waldoboro Quahog Pic #2).


The hod (or roller) is a 1/2 bushel basket, constructed with wood lathes or aluminum, that is supplied to bring the clams and hold them because that rinsing off. Castle are typically offered by hand-diggers, who lean ~ above the manage of the hod in a push-up like position, permitting the hand digger to not bend over as much. Utilizing a hod in this fashion is slightly less tough on a clammers body then digging v a seashells rake.

Onion Bags and Sleds

Clammers in the southern component of the state tend to usage use onion bags come hold and transport your clams and also sleds come pull your clams across the mud. Onion bags are used since they are easier to stack and make washing clams faster. And, of course, reusing bags designed for onions is an ext sustainable and also friendlier to the environment!

Shellfish Harvest Measurement

Traditionally, clams were measured in pecks and also bushels. There space 4 pecks in a bushel. The load of the peck or bushel the clams depends on the species, with a bushel that soft covering clams weighing in roughly 50 lbs, and also a bushel of tough shell clams weighing about 60 lbs. Many Maine shellfish buyers provided bushels measure until the beforehand 1990s, as soon as they switched end to weight measurement. Currently, soft shell clams are offered by load or through clams, while quahogs are marketed by size.

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