Fall Planting

Rinsing seed clams and removing crabs
The clam seed have spent the whole summer in nursery trays on our growing area.  They are pushing up out of the sand and need to be "planted out".  We'll shake them from the nursery trays to remove the sand and then spread the seed in rows in the sand.  The rows are covered with nets to exclude predators like fish, birds, snails and crabs.
Deniz hoeing a trench along the edge of the row.
See the seed clams spritzed in the row?
This is sustainable shellfish aquaculture, so the seeding process is essential to replenish the clams that we harvest.  The cycle takes about 3 years from seed to harvest, so each year we are planting and tending to clams of different sizes and year classes.  Clams spend about one to two years under the protective netting.  As clams get larger they tend to be less vulnerable to predation and the nets more prone to fouling by macroalgae so we remove the nets.  When the nets are covered with algae they trap silt and inhibit flow to the clams which can result in smothering.  While the clams are covered we spend a lot of time sweeping and clearing the nets.

Laying out the netting and fastening it in the trench

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