For RCTB, fall is harvest AND planting time for the clams.
We now have 9 upwellers and you can visit them July to October. They grew over 1.2 million clams in 2008.
The first thing we do is measure and count the clams in the upwellers. (Sal in the yellow and Ed in the orange) Next we harvest the previous year’s clams from the lease sites to make room for this year’s crop of “babies.”
The graph and data table to the right is a sample of growth data at the different upwellwers. 1)MYC is Mantoloking Yacht Club, 2)BH is Beach Haven Sea Cadets, 3) BL is Barnegat Light, 4) HH is Holiday Harbor, 5)IBSP is Island Beach State Park, 6) SF is Saint Francis Center, 7) BBYC Brant Beach YC, 8) BI is Bonnet Island, 9) SCYC is Surf City YC
The growth is stated in milliliters per 100 clams. In other words, the volume ( in milliliters) that it take to hold 100 clams. The larger the number of milliliters, the the larger the clams. Why are the clams larger at some upwellers than others? Good question. There are many factors that can cause growth rate to vary. This is one of the things that we will be studying in 2009.
Next we harvest the clams.
Harvesting involves using a kind of rake to scrape the clams off the floor of the bay. Jeff, in the black wet suit, shows a typical rake. Some of these clams are from the 2006 and 2007 planting, so some will be market size (1.5 ”) but many will be smaller than that. The clams that are really small, and will need more time to grow, fall through the mesh in the rake basket and stay for another year. Marty, in the brown wet suit, is showing off his special rake. Yes, those are stainless steel table knives specially fitted as tines.
It is a major effort to harvest the crop. Gef provides instructions to Kathy and Helene before they join Rick, Stan and the others. Harvested clams are dumped into the black pans and then the pans go into the boat and ultimately to shore.
Finally Matt, Lou and Gary spread the seed that Gef will cover with a predator net. The net will keep out the sea stars, crabs, moon snails and other predators, like the one Jeff is holding up, that would otherwise feast on our babies.
Graduation Class of 2008
On September 30 Jim M. gave the class the final review prior to the Final Evaluation. October 7 was Final Evaluation evening. One week later Certificates were given out. Twenty-eight of the forty-eight people were on hand to receive their certificates. WELL DONE CLASS OF 2008!