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 »ODFW Home    » Fish Division   » Marine Resources   » Recreational and Commercial Shellfish   » Bay Clams   » "Show" Identfication
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piddock siphon underwater
Piddock Siphon Underwater
Bay Clam "Show" Identfication

 

What’s a show?

When the tide recedes, clams are left below dry sand and often leave a trademark hole.  This is commonly referred to as a "show".  Each species of clam has a slightly different show that can be recognized and identified by experienced clammers. The size of the clam and distance from the surface also contributes to its appearance.


gaper show

Gaper

Gaper clams produce the largest clam show. Often, their necks are visible within the show, as in this picture.

butter clam show

Butter Clams

Butter clam shows are usually described as long and narrow, as if a flat head screwdriver were stuck in the substrate.

softshell show

Softshell Clams

Softshell clam shows tend to be approximately circular, but can sometimes be oblong. In most areas where they are dug, the only other common burrower is the ghost shrimp whose shows are easily deciphered from these.

 

razor clam show

Razor Clams

Razor clams have a very defined circular show. Depending on sand grain size and the clams activity level, they can be more or less obvious.

 

cockle show

Cockle

Since cockle clams burrow so shallow in the substrate, evidence of both siphons is usually seen at the surface.

 

pseudofeces pellets

Pseudofeces Pellets

One way experienced clammers can tell for sure that they're looking at a clam show is by the presence of pseudofeces pellets. These pellets are the product of the clams filtration system, the sand and silt ingested in the process of filter feeding.

blue mud shirmp show

Blue Mud Shrimp

Blue mud shrimp produce the largest of all shows seen in the estuary. Unlike ghost shrimp who have many obvious burrows, mud shrimp will normally have only one burrow per shrimp.

ghost shrimp burrows

Ghost Shrimp

Ghost shrimp burrows will commonly dominate an area. They tend to lossen the soil too much for clams to live in the same direct areas. At the higher elevations, thesee are the most usual shows.

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