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Cleaning Bay Clams

Below you will find both a photo filmstrip and video on how to clean bay clams. We use a Gaper Clam for demonstration purposes. But, cleaning bay clams like Cockles, Butter, Softshell and numerous others, all have similar anatomy. And they all clean basically the same way. By using this chart and reviewing the photos and video below you will be able to clean bay clams of all varieties.

Table Shows Purging and Manual Cleaning Options

Video – Cleaning Bay Clams

Cleaning Bay Clams – A Step By Step Photo Filmstrip

During certain times of the year, marine toxins, produced by some species of diatoms (algae) are taken in by shellfish. When ingested, these toxins can cause illness and in exceedingly high concentrations can be fatal to humans. So, for that reason clamming during high biotoxin times is not allowed. The Oregon Department Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) and Washington Department Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) in cooperation with the Departments of Health (DOH) sample clams on a routine basis. If high toxin levels are detected, clam seasons are delayed or closed. ODFW, WDFW and DOH work extremely hard to provide a safe and fun resource to enjoy for all clammers. Therefore, always contact ODFW or WDFW to check on safety relating to shellfish.