Clams anew

Went clamming over on Admiralty Island. The steamer
clams have seemingly died off for some unknown reason.
I could not find them anywhere. I did discover a
beach I’d not dug on before absolutely loaded with
butter and pink neck clams.

My good friend Ken, who grew up in Hawaii and is the
local clam expert, has always been a fan of pink
necks. He showed me where to look for them once, so
when I saw the pink siphon showing in the mud, I
started digging.

I got 10 gallons of clams in no time, and it was a
beautiful spring day, with intermittent snow flakes
but mostly dry and the sun trying to peak through.
There was a lone deer on the beach when I arrived –
sure not much deer sign around, more than a year after
the big die -off.

I got the clams home, and then had to badger Ken again
on how to process them. Steamer clams are the best –
just leave in a bucket, and change the sea water for a
few days to get the grit out. Then just steam and

Pink neck clams (aka, Arctic Surf Clam) are much
larger and so you have to shuck them and clean them.
Since I could see it was way more work than I wanted
to do, as I didn’t know if I’d like this clam, I
turned hero and gave away about 3/4 of them.

The rest I cleaned. First, I tried cutting them into
strips, rolled them in cracker crumbs, and fried in
olive oil. They tasted like calamari or – get this –
clam strips….

The next night, I diced several, put in a pan with
butter, olive oil, pesto, garlic and onions, and
sauteed while pasta came to a boil and cooked. Very

Now, I’ll have to figure out how to freeze so we can
put the rest up for the summer. We don’t dig clams
after April due to PSP danger, so won’t see more till
next fall at the earliest.

One bad note- our crab pot was gone! Never had one
missing over there. Hope it was not stolen. I’m
going to email the fish cops to see if they might have
picked it up because my name had rubbed off or

Also saw a mink skulking around the cabin. It had a
freshly killed rodent or bird of some kind, and when
it sensed my presence, it took it about 10 yards away,
put it down, then came back where it was to resume
hunting. Don’t know if it ever saw me, but was
certainly taking preventative measures to protect his meal.

Mark Stopha and Sara Hannan
Alaska Wild Salmon Company
Wild Salmon and Salmon Pet Treats
4455 N. Douglas Hwy
Juneau, AK 99801

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