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butter clam
Butter Clam
Digging for Butter Clams

Butter Clams

Daily Limit: 20, in aggregate with other bay clams (regulations)
Use: chowder, steamed, steaks
Digging Method: shovel, potato fork
Habitat: high salinity gravel, mud, or sandy areas
Where to Dig: Tillamook | Netarts | Yaquina | Coos

More about Butter Clams

Five Steps to Digging Butter Clams

clam map

Step 1 - Find a clam bed

Butter clams can be found in many of Oregon's larger bays. See the "where to dig" page for maps.

butter clam show

butter clam showStep 2 - Identify the show

Butter clams have a distinctive rectangular show. The shape is usually described as looking like a flathead screwdriver was stuck in the mud.

butter dig 1

butter dig 2Step 3 - Start digging!

Dig around the show and not straight down on it... necks can easily be sliced off with a shovel, and shells break fairly easily; in the interest of safety and ease of preparation, come in from the side. Since most clams siphons are not directly vertical, many clammers prefer to use a wooden dowl to follow the siphon hole down.

butter dig 3

butter show 4Step 4 - Be careful!

When you've almost dug to the depth of the clam, feel around with the shovel or your hand as not to break the shell. Although a clam with a broken shell is still good, sharp edges of a broken shell can be very dangerous.

butter clam

hole refillStep 5 - Collect your prize

After you've removed the clam refill the hole.

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