The hunt begins as the tide recedes. 25 razor clams is the state limit this year with a current fishing license. I am wearing the official razor clam hunting apparel as provided by the sponsor (note T-shirt below jacket).
Jerry and Bob walking along the beach. No clam is safe from their eagle eyes! The Alaska Dept. of Wildlife did a census of the clams this year compared to 2 years ago. Two yrs ago Deep Creek Beach had a 1.4 million clam population -this year there were 79,000 – this drastic change was the result of a hard freeze at one of the lowest of tides which killed most of the clams. Thus the drastic reduction in the clam bag limit. We will, after cleaning our catch, return the shells to the beach because the clams lay their eggs on them.
The weary clam diggers taking a well-deserved break. 3 miles down, 3 back, and 3 wandering aimlessly. This makes for a pretty tired clam digger!! 25 clams is not many for this amount of labor……………
After a big lunch and dessert now the work begins! Come forth and be recognized, you little critters.
This is the final product after cleaning and de-sliming with vinegar. Tomorrow we’ll cook them.
This strange creature is a sea anemone. Notice the tentacles are recessed and withdrawn because the tide is out.
On the land side of the beach is a cliff inhabited by dozens of eagles. Some are adults and some are juveniles, which are easy to spot because they have the brown plumage for two years. They are just as large as their parents at this time, however. Fishing charters bring the carcasses of their catch down to the beach in trailers and dump them along the water’s edge. The seagulls swoop in first, but it isn’t long before the eagles claim it for their own.
One of dozens of mature eagles as it perches on the side of the cliff.
We decided that this juvenile must be molting because he looks pretty scruffy. Maybe he is about to get his adult plumage.