The Gaper Clam,
also called HORSE CLAM (Tresus nuttallii and Tresus capax), either of
species of bivalve mollusks of the family Mactridae. These clams live
sand and mud flats along the coast of western North America from Alaska
to Baja California. The shells of both species reach about 200
(8 inches) in length. They are roughly oblong in shape and creamy white
in colour. Gaper clams have long, fused siphons that are contained in
tubes; the siphons are not fully retractable into the shell. The clams
burrow up to one metre (three feet) deep into sediment. Gaper clams are
edible and are heavily fished at spring tides. They are commonly
with larval tapeworm cysts, but these are harmless to humans.
Horseneck Clams (Gaper Clams) are larger
ordinary clam. Typically
a nice size Horseneck will have a shell that measures six to eight
Gaper (Tresus capax) is the true name for Horseneck. They are found
three or four feet in the mud and sand in the bay in several bays from
Canada to California.
The best place to go claming is the
Carleston Bay when
the tide is low
enough to walk on the mud flats without getting wet.
There are various pieces of equipment that
but the simplest
is a shovel, a bucket, and some boots. A yearly shellfish license is required to
harvest clams, crabs and mussels, and can be obtained at most
fishing supply stores.
When you are out on the mudflats, it is very
First, find a small whole (about half and inch to an inch in diameter)
and stick your finger in it. If you feel a tounge move away quickly,
have found a clam. Quickly dig out a whole and grab the clam before it
borrows deaper into the mud.