Thursday, September 9, 2010
Clams, Oysters, and Mussels!!!!!!!
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.
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"!!!