How to Catch Geoduck
Harvesting your Geoduck
Geoduck, the giant strange looking deep mining clam is among the most expensive sea foods in the world. The harvesting of geoduck is a quite laborious job and one needs a lot of skill and expertise to take it out of its sand beds. Geoduck is a quite popular food in China where it is known as elephant trunk because of its large conduit shape structure.
The Puget Sound area is famous for its large beds of high quality geoducks. Geoducks are not easily available and are found only in some specific places around the world. The large geoduck colonies are found mainly in Hood Canal and Puget Sound areas. Other seashore areas where geoducks may be, discovered include Hope Island State Park, Seabold Beach, Blake Island State Park, East Dabob and Dabob Broad Spit. Boat ride is the only way to reach these oceanfronts.
The harvest of geoduck requires special training and great skill. The divers mostly wait for extremely low water tides to dive for collecting geoducks. In the Washington area, diving for geoduck is enjoyed as a recreational sport as well. Because of the limited availability of this aquatic animal, the law puts many restrictions on geoduck harvesting. It is prohibited for a diver to collect more than three clams per day. Nevertheless, catching geoduck is a quite adventurous though laborious job.
Beware if you are going geoduck fishing as it is quite different from the regular fishing and requires certain skills and equipment. The more commonly used equipment for harvesting geoducks include plastic tube, metal tube (a big one), bottom less galvanized garbage bins, some shovels and in case you do not want to get your hands dirty, gloves.
There are many regulations regarding geoduck harvesting, so before you dive into the sea, make sure to go through the Sport Fishing Rules circular published every year. Low tides are best to dive in, therefore consult a tide chart to know when the water is low at a specific beach. Low tides help to expose a larger number of these clams. Summers are best for geoduck fishing as there are extreme low tides in the day time as well, especially from mid April to mid August.
Once you have decided the location and you are ready with the necessary equipment, go for the hunt. Plastic tubes are used to scoop out these clams in order to ensure safe removal of the clam from the seabed.
These plastic tubes should be wide enough to allow for the removal of the mud using shovels. For this, one needs to go deep in the hole to take out the mud from the plastic tube. This step needs a lot of caution. Make every possible effort not to damage the siphon. It is against the law to remove just the neck while leaving the rest behind. Even when the trunk is, damaged it should nevertheless be, excavated completely from under the surface.
To avoid damaging the siphon it is recommended that once you are near the geoduck, leave the shovel and remove the remaining sediments with your hands. This will ensure that the geoduck is not harmed by mistake. Keep on digging and with a little more effort you will get your reward.