Week 2: Clams and Creel Surveys

Wow, I can’t believe it’s already the end of June. This week was another busy one. At work, I’ve started to zero in on a direction in my research. While I still hope to collect some data on ocean-caught recreational crab size frequency and shell condition, my mentor and I decided to focus more on data collection concerning gear usage. Last week, we finalized a few extra questions to tack onto the end of creel surveys (surveys of fishermen – in this case, recreational crabbers. It turns out that the name comes from the wooden basket, called a creel, used by fishermen to hold their catch.). After revising the data sheet, I spent quite a bit of time at the marina, waiting for crabbers to come back so I could ask them about their gear. More specifically: if they lost any gear (rings or pots) on this crabbing trip or on previous trips in the past twelve months, why the gear was lost, and whether they use floating or sinking line on their rings/pots.

Edging into the recreational side of things, I got my first taste of clamming this week. On Friday, a group of people from ODFW trekked out to the tidal flat near the office armed with rakes, buckets, waders, and clam guns. My waders were slightly much too big, so I kept nearly face planting in the mud. But I still managed to scrape up a few cockles and dig up a gaper clam. I spent a hectic hour in the kitchen Monday evening cooking them into a pasta dish; this was a big deal for me, considering I still feel twinges of sadness when smashing a spider. It was a little bit of a battle, as I am a scatterbrained and inefficient cook even when live organisms aren’t involved, but the food wasn’t half bad.

The week wrapped up with a trip to the aquarium on Saturday (just in time for their World Oceans Day Celebration) and a hike in the Cape Perpetua area on Sunday. Even though we “took all the wrong turns” possible when trying to get to Thor’s Well (a hole in the rock near the shore that spouts water in time with the waves, like a dynamic fountain controlled by the ocean), we still managed to find it and catch some beautiful views along the way.


I think that’s about it. Have a food/firework/fun-filled Fourth of July weekend, everyone!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

2 thoughts on “Week 2: Clams and Creel Surveys

  1. Food that you work hard to produce and prepare always tastes best! What is the overall goal for the gear use survey – what are the big-picture questions that you’re trying to answer?

  2. That’s an interesting fact to throw in about where the word “creel” comes from in the creel surveys – I had no idea!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.