Welcome to Outdoor Savages! We are a small group of friends that enjoys nothing more than to spend our free time in the outdoors. Here are the first hand accounts of our adventures. Enjoy!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Clams, Oysters, and Mussels!!!!!!!

     Due to the High winds fishing has been an after thought the past few days.  I have seen nothing but white caps out on the sound the last 5 days.  I wanted to do some fishing on my days off but i don't think that it will happen.  Shell Fishing on the other hand is an option i was willing to explore.
I made a call to the City of Stamford's Shell Fishing Hot Line, and learned the recreational beds were open.  Most of the year the beds are closed, because of a very low rain trigger and strenuous testing procedures.  When the beds are open a wealth of good eats is available to a shell fishing permit holder.  Stamford beds happen to have Oysters, Clams, and Mussels.

   Looking for mussels is easy.  They simply cling to the rocks that are submerged for most of the tide.  Don't confuse the blue mussels with the ribbed mussels.  One bite into a big ribbed mussel and you will know why they are all over the place.  Another Bivalve that clings to the rocks is the oyster.  Once an oyster has anchored to a rock another oyster will cling to the original oyster.  The shell fisher should wear some type of glove to cull off the shorts with an oyster knife.  Oyster shells are very sharp and will cut you.    Oysters in CT have to be 3 inches long to harvest.  The hard clams inhabit the waters that are usually always submerged and like both sand and mud bottoms.  They have to be 1.5 inches in diameter to keep.  Harvesting can be done in a number of ways, however, the most common method is to use a rake.

  On today's outing my main target was mussels, my wife loves mussels.  Last time out i went by boat and located a small colony of mussels in a sea weed covered crack in a big rock.  Today I was leaving from the public beach, and the walk to the mussels was a very long one through the water and over a mud flat, but with the New Moon ultra low tide, i knew i had time to get out there and back.  The plan was very simple, get right out there and work my way back.  Angry Mike wanted to go after the hard clams, and he said he knew where they were.  I got out to the mussels and had to take a rest from the walk.  After pulling several from their rock i turned around and headed to an area that was littered with oysters.  Oysters, in the late 90's, went through a tough spot when a virus whipped them out.  In the past 10 years; however, the oysters beds are growing by leaps and bounds, and they are once again plentiful in Long Island Sound.
After collecting a bunch of oysters i made the slow long trek back to Angry Mike who was leaning up against his rake.  "You better hope they don't invent clam rakes that stand up by themselves, because if they do, your out of a job"!  I yelled.  Mike just smiled and replied, " I'm Limited"!  Sure enough he reached in the murky water and pulled out a loaded clam basket!!!  I decided to round out the afternoon by gathering a few hard clams my self.  Back at the truck we sat down and had a cold soda and it hit me " what a haul"!!!


  1. Clams, just my opinion now are the best of what the sea has to offer. I enjoy them now matter how they are prepared. But my favorite way is a clam sauce, with pasta, crusty bread, hot pepper, and lots of pecorino ramano.

  2. More or less, that is the plan for the little necks and the mussels in the above pic. It is a simple cheap meal. The oysters are going to be fried, the cherry stones my brother is going to make stuffed clams with and the big clams we are going to use for porgy and sea bass bait.

  3. Those look good! Nice catch. =)

    The Average Joe Fisherman

  4. Nice haul indeed. I love to read blogs from other regions. Look forward to reading more.

  5. Yum, i love clams and mussels. Nice job guys!

  6. Lets go clamming, I was going to take a trip to the north shore to try, but I may stay in Stamford or Norwalk. I have a bunch of lobster pots too. you guys do any lobstering? Lets go out clamming or lobstering this year!