Freshwater Clams   


When most people of clams they think of the beach and the ocean, but there are hundreds of freshwater species of clams and mussels in North America. They should not be overlooked as a potential survival food.  They can be found in muddy banks of rivers, and unlike fish, you will not need any equipment to catch them.  Here are some tips on how to get your hands on this great source of wild protein.


  1. After locating a muddy bank, get in the water, being careful not find the clams with your bare feet since they can be sharp. Search the mud with your fingers, starting at the water’s edge and going down as deep as your arms allow before moving laterally and starting again at the water’s edge.
  2. When you feel a clam in the mud simply reach your fingers around and under it and pull it up. Put it in your pockets, or preferably in a bag.  If you throw it on shore there is a chance that it will burrow in the mud and disappear, or spoil in the sun while you looking for more clams.
  3. After you have gathered enough for a meal you can cook them by just placing them on a flat stone, or the flat side of a spilt log that is close the fire. Keep an eye on them, depending on the heat of the fire they should cook in about 5 minutes.  After only a few minutes you should notice steam coming out of the opening, once the steam has stopped, move then a little further from the heat for a few more minutes to keep them from burning.  After they are cooked they will open easily without any tool, though they will be hot so be careful.

In the wild, calories are currency, and there are few sources of protein-rich calories that require so little to gather, and to prepare as clams.

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