Clamming Vacation on Oregon North Coast- Netarts Bay
Clamming is one of the many Oregon North Coast activities to be SAVORED at the clamming vacation home I blogged about recently, in a blog entitled "Beach View Netarts Rental Furnished in Luxury." You can walk out your front door onto the beach of the Netarts Bay, a sheltered stretch of beach due to the bay's protective shape. Cape Lookout State Beach is nearby, and the finger of Cape Lookout is called "the spit." This is the portion of sand that comes and goes with the tide and protects Netarts Bay from the open sea, thus giving the magic of Happy Camp St.'s beach: a calm, gentle beach!
In case you want to look at my friend's wonderful on-the-beach furnished rental home (sleeps 12) on the North Coast of Oregon, Netarts Bay, I have linked from each picture here back to my original post about that beautiful home. Enjoy the pics, wish I were back there!
Here is a short guide to digging for clams, or clamming: you go out at the minus tide, generally a bit before 6 a.m. If you don't have a rental home on the beach, you can park at the Mark Hatfield Science Center and walk about a half mile in to the bay. I personally prefer the rental home on the beach for days of clamming, as a day clamming is fun and also a lot of work, and at least the adults in the crowd might appreciate the shorter return walk to a home on the beach. Beach walks later in the day, after you're all cleaned up, are my preferred way to walk!
You are looking for a quarter-sized hole in the sand, and then putting a finger in the hole to check if a clam is in there. It will spit water and duck back, if the clam is in there. So you won't break the clam's shell, you dig near the hole instead of directly on top of it, from a half foot up to about 2+ feet down into the sand. This is a fun if muddy way for families to share time.
Here's a first-hand perspective on clamming from the owner of what I'm now calling My Beach House in Netarts Bay (on Happy Camp Rd! so much fun):
"With shovel in hand and white utility bucket in tow, rainboots on toes and a mounting appetite, you head out. Oh, yes, bring a hankie and don't be surprised if you get a squirt in your eye [when you poke your finger in that sand hole]. Some of these clams have necks that are a couple feet long! What does a clam neck have to do with clamming? Well, remember that shovel? Use it quickly [but] cautiously and gently! You don't want to cut off the clam neck or you kill your dinner! Be sure you've got a license from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. Licenses make for a much cheaper and more fun vacation than ODFW department's fines for violating those license laws!"