shellfish foraging

bounty from the sea

It’s spring break season, and we have just the thing to make yours memorable…

In the Pacific Northwest, we are blessed with a bounty of wild foods from the land and sea. Spring’s mild weather and day-time low-tides, make for the perfect conditions to head to the coast or Hood Canal for razor clams, manila clams and oysters straight from the shore. April is the time to take advantage before these bi-valves turn their focus to reproduction during the summer months.

While the razor clam season has been going on since October, winter’s night-time low-tides call for head lamps and all-weather gear. Spring digs are better-suited to beginners and less hardy harvesters. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife provides all the info needed for a successful trip including where to get a license, dates of upcoming approved digs and how-to videos. It always helps to have friends in the know, and we found them at the Tokeland Hotel. This charming spot - Washington’s oldest hotel - has recently been restored and rejuvenated by new owners Heather Earnhardt (of The Wandering Goose fame) and Zac Young. The hotel sits just miles from Grayland Beach State Park — open for digging April 6th and 7th, and tentatively scheduled for April 20 - 22nd. Whether or not you’re lucky enough to nab a room at Tokeland, stop by for a po’ boy, cocktail and camaraderie in the dining room. If you’re lucky, you might get to go out digging with the hosts themselves!

If oysters and the smaller manila clams are more your speed, the Hood Canal can’t be beat. Last weekend, our friends at Human Nature Hunting taught field trippers the ins and outs of foraging for these delicious bi-valves including what to do with them after the catch. Shucking and slurping an oyster right on the shore is an experience worthy of any bucket-list. Hop on the waitlist for one of their upcoming shellfish expeditions.

If you’re not ready to don the xtra-tufs and dig yourself - don’t miss the 9th annual Oyster Rama at Hama Hama April 20th - guaranteed good times!

Cheers to the sea!