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Thread: Clam tutorial

  1. #1

    Default Clam tutorial

    Hello folks, I need some help in the "clam" arena. I love digging razor clams and do so usually when we're there and the tide is right, but I really love steamers cause there's no cleaning process like razors. I was only able to get steamers once about 10 yrs. ago across from Homer at Pedersen Bay, raking thru the rocks on the beach; absolutely loved them. I can't remember anymore what the difference is between butter clams & steamers, help? Something about the way the lines are oriented on the shell??? Is one better eating than the other? Is one more prone to PSP? We're gonna try to get some clams down in Homer during July/Aug and I'd like to be a little more prepared. Also, can these clams be frozen fresh (probably have to get them out of the shell first?) or cooked? Mussels are good too and pretty self-explanatory for identification.
    I wish we had a ocean boat!

  2. #2
    Member homerdave's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    homer, alaska

    Thumbs up steamers,butters and mussels...

    steamers are usually right near the surface 3-6" down. the butters are under them, as deep as a foot at times.
    steamers have ridges that run from back to front, along with concentric rings, and a rougher overall texture than butters.
    butters have only concentric ridges.
    legal steamers must be 1 1/2" across, butters must be 2".
    butters hold PSP toxins longer than steamers or mussels.
    i always purge my steamers and butters for a couple days, changeing the water several times a day if possible. steamers will live a long time if taken care of, butters seem to croak after a few days no matter what i do.
    the best way to freeze steamers is to cook them and shuck the meat, although i have had some success vacuum packing them live and whole. if you do this you have to set the vacuum lower that with fish, and in the freezer the shells are VERY brittle.
    check the pantry forum for clam recipes.
    harvest mussels off vertical rocks so you get less grit.
    Alaska Board of Game 2015 tour... "Kicking the can down the road"

  3. #3

    Default Clams...

    Hi all!
    Thanks Dave, good locates on those clams.
    Does anyone have a link for tides that is a regular tide table? I found a bunch of stuff that means nothing to me....and never have my book handy...

  4. #4
    Member akcowgirl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006


    This is the online tidetable that we always use. Good Luck

  5. #5


    I use the tide tables on my GPS. It works very well as you tell it to find the nearest tide station, so the info is spot on. I have found the tide book to be way off at times.


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