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Gaper Clam
Digging for Gaper Clams

Gaper Clams

Daily Limit: 12, out of a total of 20 bay clams (regulations)
Use: Clam steaks, chowder
Digging Method: shovel
Habitat: high salinity sandy and/or muddy areas
Where to Dig: Tillamook | Netarts | Yaquina | Siuslaw | Umpqua | Coos

More about Gaper Clams

Cleaning Gaper Clams

Five Steps to Digging Gaper Clams

clam map

Step 1 - Find a clam bed

Gapers can be found in most of Oregons larger estuaries. Coos, Tillamook, Netarts, and Yaquina are favorite bays of these trophy size clams. See the "where to dig" page to see maps.

gaper show

gaper show popStep 2 - Identify the show

Gaper clams have a long oblong show, experienced clammers can easily identify these clams. A quick touch of the show will reveal if your guess is correct. If it's a clam, its neck will retract.

gaper dig1

gaper dig2Step 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.

gaper dig3

gaper dig 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.

gaper dig4

hole refillStep 5 - Collect your prize

After you've removed the clam refill the hole.

Quick Tip

gaper bucket hole

bucketTo avoid cave in, bring a 5 gallon bucket with the bottom cut out

Place the bucket in the substate once there's enough room. The bucket will prevent the hole from caving in and will allow you to dig easier and not break clams as often.


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