Results 1 to 11 of 11

Thread: fresh water clams or muscles, edible?

  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Outta Big Lake
    Posts
    1,633

    Default fresh water clams or muscles, edible?

    I have been pondering this a while,

    Me and my brother were camping a couple springs ago, about the time of the trout spawn, and we found 100's of clams in this little lagoon that was basically a lake with a creek booked by a beaver dam with a 2 foot wide creek still going through it. anyway in about 3 feet of water were all these clams or muscles, what ever they are, we brought come back to came and cooked them, but then I remembered reading on some survival good about them being inedible in april or something, and cause it was a 3 mile canoe paddle and another 5 mile hike back, we didn't wan a be dying on the way out or something cause it was back before we had cell phones.

    so this was about the middle of the trout spawn. maybe closer to the end....don't remember what month, but I remember the clams were about 4 or 5 inches across, the bigger ones, and most were 3 or 4 inches, so are they edible?
    Eccleasties 8:11 Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed quickly, There for the hearts of the sons of men among them are given fully to do evil.

  2. #2
    New member
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Eagle River
    Posts
    2,022

    Default

    Otters eat them by the pound. I noticed freshwater clams/mussels in the Swan lake canoe system-Kenai Natl. Wildlife Refuge years ago after a portage. I ran hand through the sand where there were tracks made by the clams, pulled out 4 or 5 and wrapped them in foil with a small amount of water, seasoning and butter. Someone at the portage/campsite left a fire smoldering (another topic of itself) and I set the foil wrapped clams in the remaining coals. They tasted just dandy, but where a bit "crunchy" due to the fact that I did not have any corn meal and/or time for them to exchange/purge the sand. This would have been in July or August. As to edibility during a certain time of year, I have no idea. I do know that I had no concern about giving them a go since otters feast on them regularly with no ill effects, and they did not bother me in the least.

    Here is a little more info : http://www.uafanswers.com/detail.php?id=394

    http://www.uvm.edu/~pass/tignor/mussels/index.htm

    A scientific study : http://aknhp.uaa.alaska.edu/wp-conte...eport_2005.pdf

    Give them a try next chance you get !

  3. #3
    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Valdez, Alaska
    Posts
    4,402

    Default

    I know New York has 26 or so species of fresh water clams. Only 2 are poisonous. I can't find out which two.

    I suggest the following method:

    Secure several clams.
    Cook them.
    Let your hunting partner try them.
    Wait two hours to see if he is alright.
    Then try them yourself.

    Vietnam - June 70 - Feb. 72
    Cancer from Agent Orange - Aug. 25th 2012
    Cancer Survivor - Dec. 14th 2012

  4. #4
    Member Vince's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Fairbanks most the time, Ancorage some of the time,& on the road Kicking Anti's all the time
    Posts
    8,989

    Default

    My years Diving in valley lakes, i've seen thousands of these guys at times...most are near shore, as i was doing, dock work or cleaning garbage off the bottom for home owners.

    thing to remember is the water quality... espessally in residental areas. Mussels are filters, and store what goes through them.. so if someone has been dumping waste into the water supply, septics leaching etc... the shell fish will store it a long time in their system.


    i was told then.. that any plans to harvest should be pre-empted with a water sample test first.. i would also suggest a few samples pulled and tested , there used to be a part of the Co-op extension service and experimantal farm would do this for free... I am not sure if there still is.
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

    meet on face book here

  5. #5
    Member AK Ray's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    South Central
    Posts
    2,541

    Default

    Here is another link to some ADFG stuff. Go to page 23 for Mullusk data.

    http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/static/sp...ertebrates.pdf

    In this link you will note that they keep mentioning that these are filter feeders and will bioaccumulate toxins.
    For many places in the US this is not an issue. However, for Alaska and the amount of mercury in our soil, bioaccumulation becomes a concern. When I attended a presentation on mercury sampling of Alaska fish there was no mention of testing freshwater shell fish.

    Eating a few small ones after they have been flushed with clean water might not be too bad. But I would not eat anything large that could be really old and have accumulated toxins. Don't pull them from a stream that is down stream from a dog yard. The fecal coliform load could be extremely high, especially in the spring when all that goop is melting and running off.

    Years ago after noting the large number of clams in the Jim Creek swamp system I asked an F&G bio about it. He didn't know, so he asked someone that did. The response was not to eat them since the water quality varies so much and can result in horrible tastes. Also mentioned that they are not studdied since they are not part of traditional food chains in Alaska even though they are found all over Cook Inlet and PWS.

  6. #6

    Default

    The freshwater mussels in southcentral Alaska, and probably most of Alaska, with the exception of SE AK are called Yukon Floaters (Anodonta beringiana). These are also found in the Yukon Territory and Kamchatka. I have spoken with some Alaska natives that eat them. Mussels are bioaccumlators and I would be concerned about eating them in location with much humna development. I would attach a brochure if I knew how to do it but you can find it here: http://molluskconservation.org/Libra...ject_Final.pdf

  7. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Outta Big Lake
    Posts
    1,633

    Default

    not really anybody else goes out there, no garbage or anything, although there is a shirt and a sleeping bag from a long time ago, not so sure about that....but I have never seen any sign that anybody else goes back there. really clear water. it tastes fine, although we boiled all the water cause that was back before I had the money for a water filter...I have a bottle with the filter built in and I am gonna go back there and do another camping trip....
    Eccleasties 8:11 Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed quickly, There for the hearts of the sons of men among them are given fully to do evil.

  8. #8
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Outta Big Lake
    Posts
    1,633

    Default

    dad said back in his younger days he put them in a pan with corn meal and fresh water (our tap water comes straight from the well, no filters or anything) and after a couple days they got rid of all their sand and taste better
    Eccleasties 8:11 Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed quickly, There for the hearts of the sons of men among them are given fully to do evil.

  9. #9
    Member alaskabliss's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Wasilla
    Posts
    1,419

    Default

    Growing up out at a lodge the rule was you can't eat the freshwater clams with months with an R in it. So May through Aug. they were fair game. Something about them being bad to eat or poisonus. Not sure since it was a long time ago.

  10. #10
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Outta Big Lake
    Posts
    1,633

    Default

    I heard that about crawdads back when we lived in oregon
    I reckon I'll wait till summer just to be safe
    Eccleasties 8:11 Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed quickly, There for the hearts of the sons of men among them are given fully to do evil.

  11. #11
    Member aktyler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    North pole
    Posts
    304

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by alaskabliss View Post
    Growing up out at a lodge the rule was you can't eat the freshwater clams with months with an R in it. So May through Aug. they were fair game. Something about them being bad to eat or poisonus. Not sure since it was a long time ago.
    might that be because you would have to go through ice to get to them?

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •