The Clammer

CAPE COD CLAMMERHere’s a program from our archives.Fried clams, anyone? Well, it’s time of year that Cohog clams are spawning in and around Cape Cod, Massachusetts. I’m Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet.If you imagine Cape Cod as an arm, we’re right between the elbow and the bicep, on the Brewster Flats– a shoreline facing north. It’s low tide and we’re listening to clammer Alex Carlson sorting through a wire mesh cage that holds about 1500 young quahog. Carlson: Well, these guys are a year and a half old and I’m just sorting through them, picking out some crabs and sizing them and then I’m going to put them back into a larger mesh cage so that they’ll hopefully grow a little bit faster. What I have in my hand is about the size of my thumbnail and this is probably about a year and a half old. And they’re relatively round in shape and they have ridges on them, if you were to scrape your fingernail along them, and those are the growth rings and much like a tree, it leaves a ridge at the end of its growing spurt and you can tell just how old a Cohog is by the deep ridges. And this heavy ridge there is what we would call I guess a yearly ring.”This time of year mature quahog release their sperm and eggs into the warming waters of Cape Cod. The fertilized eggs become microscopic larvae, floating in the water. Carlson: Well, they start to grow shells just about 12 to 14 days after the sperm egg has been fertilized. The shell just starts to grow actually while they’re still floating around and becomes actually heavy enough to carry them down to the bottom.”It takes 2 to 3 years to grow littleneck size clams. Most cohogs are 5-8 years old when harvested and the larger chowder clams can be 15 years or older. Additional funding for Pulse of the Planet has been provided by the National Science Foundation. I’m Jim Metzner.music

The Clammer

It's clamming season in Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
Air Date:07/12/2021
Scientist:
Transcript:

CAPE COD CLAMMERHere's a program from our archives.Fried clams, anyone? Well, it's time of year that Cohog clams are spawning in and around Cape Cod, Massachusetts. I'm Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet.If you imagine Cape Cod as an arm, we're right between the elbow and the bicep, on the Brewster Flats-- a shoreline facing north. It's low tide and we're listening to clammer Alex Carlson sorting through a wire mesh cage that holds about 1500 young quahog. Carlson: Well, these guys are a year and a half old and I'm just sorting through them, picking out some crabs and sizing them and then I'm going to put them back into a larger mesh cage so that they'll hopefully grow a little bit faster. What I have in my hand is about the size of my thumbnail and this is probably about a year and a half old. And they're relatively round in shape and they have ridges on them, if you were to scrape your fingernail along them, and those are the growth rings and much like a tree, it leaves a ridge at the end of its growing spurt and you can tell just how old a Cohog is by the deep ridges. And this heavy ridge there is what we would call I guess a yearly ring."This time of year mature quahog release their sperm and eggs into the warming waters of Cape Cod. The fertilized eggs become microscopic larvae, floating in the water. Carlson: Well, they start to grow shells just about 12 to 14 days after the sperm egg has been fertilized. The shell just starts to grow actually while they're still floating around and becomes actually heavy enough to carry them down to the bottom."It takes 2 to 3 years to grow littleneck size clams. Most cohogs are 5-8 years old when harvested and the larger chowder clams can be 15 years or older. Additional funding for Pulse of the Planet has been provided by the National Science Foundation. I'm Jim Metzner.music