This is a guest column written by Vera Koo’s daughter, Shane, and describes a recent trip to find the elusive geoduck clam.

I went on a quest this summer, one that I’m a little bit embarrassed to share.

See, much of my life, my dad has taken us on hunts for the elusive geoduck clam.

My parents raised me and my siblings to be sporty. My sister and I were alpine ski racers, we camped, snowboarded, climbed, water skied, kayaked and a whole slew of other outdoor activities.

But as much as I enjoy those activities, clamming has always been my happy place. I plan for it all year, eager for the next low tide. 

My dad, Carlos, started taking us clam digging when I was about 10 years old. In California, we only ever caught horseneck clams, which are similar to geoduck (pronounced gooey-duck) clams. But we always talked about the elusive geoduck, yet it remained out of reach – until now.

horseneck-clam
WOW! Look at the size of this Geoduck Clam!

What in the Wide World of the Outdoors is a Geoduck Clam?

The geoduck has a very distinctive look. Awkwardly, it is phallic shaped. Honestly, I wish it didn’t look so ridiculous. Its shell can range from 6 to 8 inches, and its neck can stretch a couple of feet. They usually weigh a couple pounds and native to the coastal waters of the Pacific Northwest. They’re tough to catch. Limited to especially low tides during daylight hours sandwiched between winter and the stretch of summer before red tide arrives, to catch them, you’ll want to have experience clam digging and the right equipment. 

This year, I made a plan to finally catch what had become my white whale. 

Where to Find a Geoduck Clam

Through research, I learned I might have some luck digging for geoduck northeast of the Olympic National Park in Washington. I researched the tides and found the 1 and only weekend tide that would be suitable.

And because we didn’t want to fly during the pandemic, my daughter, Mia, my boyfriend and his son made it a road trip. We even brought our new baby bunnies with us. Although my group didn’t care nearly as much as I did about catching the geoduck, they did appreciate the gorgeous beaches and freedom in nature. 

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