Clammers: A Different Breed

Clammers have to wait until low tide to do their work. As we rode by, Dapper G asked permission from one of the six clammers if we could come in close.

Dave shows us a whelk he has raked up out of the mud.

He shows us his basket that he has rigged together: a tube with a plastic basket strapped together with rope and wide pieces of blue rubber.

More whelks that he will sell to a local restaurant for soup or ceviche. A yearly license for shellfish is $50.00, and they must follow specific regulations: how many clams they can harvest in one day per size (little neck, cherry stone, etc.), where they can clam (can’t be near marinas, man-made lagoons and canals because clams can absorb residue from oil and gas).

Clammers can make anywhere between $100-200 a day, of course, dependent on their catch. If it is their only source of income, they must wait for low tide and to rake in all kinds of temperatures throughout the year in thick, bay mud. Oftentimes,  I see them in the bay during winter on my way to school. You have to respect the job they do. Really!

©Teresita Abad Doebley All rights reserved 2009-2011.

Quote of the Day for YOU:  Work isn’t to make money; you work to justify life.  ~Marc Chagall


14 thoughts on “Clammers: A Different Breed

  1. What an interesting and informative post, and the detail of the photos, of course you would get all the details to educate us all. I never knew that these were raked and grew this large, another thing I learned from you my friend. You are just so full of good stuff! Thanks!

  2. I always smile when I cross the Ocean City bridge and spot clammers at work. One of my college roommates’ engagement ring was paid for through her intended’s clamming efforts while on fur-low from his Navy duties. What a great way to spend your ‘vacation’! Sadly the marriage only lasted about 4 years. I guess he just ‘clammed up’….

  3. Thanks for stopping to share their work with us. I imagined whelks were smaller creatures, so I learned something too. Ever seen a geoduck – the giant clam of the Pacific Northwest?

  4. This was interesting, thanks. I especially like the home-designed basket. Terrific ingenuity. Unfortunately I have to avoid clams like the plague—been deathly ill on them twice. (You’d have thought once was enough.)

  5. Great post…informative about their use for the environment…but one thing..the guy in the picture…is he missing his front teeth…
    hockey player?

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