“Geoduck” Clams is a popular food for many people. What does it look like?

Geoducks, pronounced ‘gooey-duck’, are magnificent clams with an extraordinarily long siphon or neck which hangs out of a not-so-large shell.

The geoduck shell measures up to a length of 7-9 in (17.8-22.9 cm). The siphon, which is too long to retract into the shell, can grow up to 4 ft (121.9 cm).

Geoducks can live in the wild for over 100 years.

The Pacific geoduck (Panopea generosa) is native to the coasts of the Pacific Northwest and western Canada.

A geoduck is the largest burrowing clam ever to be found, probably the reason why it was originally named as ‘gweduc’ by the Nisqually tribe of Native America which means to ‘dig deep’.

Geoducks are called by other names in various places, such as mud duck, king clam, and elephant-trunk clam (in China).

Several species of geoducks are found in different parts of the world. The Atlantic geoduck (Panopea bitruncata) is found from the coast of North Carolina to the Gulf of Mexico.

Geoducks are an extremely savored seafood delicacy. They are known for their unique, crunchy texture and salty taste.

They are commercially farmed and are a valuable export product selling for about $50-$150 a pound. Geoducks can grow to be about 8 lb (3.6 kg).

Mexico is known for farming the largest geoducks in the world. The second-largest species are found in the Pacific Northwest while smaller varieties are found in Argentina, New Zealand, and Japan.

In this article, you will find information like geoduck anatomy, geoduck dish, geoduck recipe, geoduck price, cooking geoduck, and so on.

A geoduck is a bivalved mollusk having two rectangular-shaped shells and an elongated nonretractile siphon. The shell is typically 7-9 in (17.8-22.9 cm) long and has a dirty white or cream texture.

The shell has distinct concentric growth lines on its surface. The soft, muscly siphon is long and can grow up to a good 4 ft (121.9 cm).

The siphon is somewhat reddish-brown. Geoducks burrow deep into the grounds and can live for over a hundred years buried in the same place.

The average geoduck can weigh up to 3 lb (1.4 kg). But there are geoducks that can grow as large as 8 lb (3.6 kg), found mostly in the regions of Puget Sound, Washington.

Blue catfish are 11 times bigger than geoducks. The giant clam weighs 500 lb (226.8 kg).

The geoducks consume phytoplankton, fish larva, or any other food particle that they filter in through the siphon.

The siphon brings in water loaded with phytoplankton and other food into the shell body.

Food is filtered through and water is released back through another hole in the siphon. Geoducks require the cleanest of waters for their survival.

Found in the Pacific Northwest and western Canadian coast, these marine clams are the world’s largest burrowing clams.

From the lower intertidal zone, they live at a depth of about over 109.4 yd (100 m) and are buried deep on the ocean floor.

They burrow on soft, muddy, and sandy grounds. They are anchored there with a small ‘foot’ and live in the same place for the rest of their lives.

If you want to harvest a geoduck, you must be ready to go on all fours, in muddy, salty coasts and thrust your hands deep into the ground to get one out.

You know you have spotted a geoduck if you see two of its siphon holes peeking out from the grounds. There are other ways to spot it as well.

Sometimes the neck may be hanging loose across the ground from a considerable distance.

Sometimes it is also just a big hole in the sand. That’s how geoduck farmers procure the clams from the coasts.

Puget Sound, an inlet of the Pacific Ocean in Washington state, is populated with the largest of these clams.

Geoduck farming is popular in Puget Sound, which has harvested geoducks for over a thousand years now, or so it is said.

They are sold for over $100 a pound and make excellent seafood with an exquisite taste.

Of late, farming and harvest are done under authoritative supervision for environmental purposes so as not to disrupt the marine ecosystem.

Geoducks reproduce by the method of broadcast spawning where the females release eggs into the water to be fertilized by the male sperms.

Females can produce over five million eggs during their lifetime.

Spawning occurs every year during May-July which is mainly attributed to the rise in temperature of the seawater.

The eggs suspended in the water develop into larva. These larvae settle at the bottom. When the shell size reaches about 0.1 in (2 mm), the larvae begin to burrow and grow in size.

During the first two years, the baby geoducks are susceptible to threats from a number of predators like crabs, snails, shrimps, and fish.

As the shell of the geoduck grows and the siphon develops, they begin to burrow deep into the floor. They can reach up to a depth of 3 ft (91.4 cm), where they live for the rest of their lives.

Geoducks come with the flavors of the sea. They have a salty, crunchy flavor and taste as good as shellfish can be.

They are extremely popular in the Chinese markets and are one of the most sought-after delicacies.

Geoduck clams can even be had raw. The crunchytexture of the raw siphon gives this clam a unique taste.

How to catch geoduck?Geoducks are farmed in low tides. Geoduck digging and farming is a time-consuming process. There are certified areas for finding and farming geoducks.

Sometimes geoducks are easier to find when some part of their neck can be seen hanging loosely onto the ground.

Sometimes it is just two siphon holes peepingout. At other times, they are stationed very deep and only a gaping hole in the soft gravely coast is the hint that gives them away.

During low tide, divers dive into the muddywater of the sea or the Pacific to search for geoducks in their habitat. Water hoses are extensively used in geoduck farming.

The farmers or harvesters spray a blast of water into the sandy bottoms to loosens the sand, making the geoducks lose their footing.

The farmers then thrush their arms into the hole, sometimes all the way up to their shoulders to extricate these shellfishes from their homes.

Geoduck hunting is a recreationalsport in Washington. There is even a geoduck song about it.

Geoduck farming and harvest, though still popular, are now overlooked by the authorities for environmentalreasons. They ensure that the farming of shellfish does not disrupt marine life.


Ref: Wikipedia, wdfw, ourmarinespecies, cfs.gov, kidadl, treehugger, oceana, otlibraryPic: Wikipedia, wdfw, ourmarinespecies, cfs.gov, tasteatlas, researchgate, otlibrary