Thursday, January 28, 2010

Surf Clam Washup

This is a photo of Roger Wheeler State Beach (Sand Hill Cove to us old timers...) taken yesterday by South County Coastkeeper Dave Prescott. Save The Bay got several calls yesterday from concerned residents about massive numbers (100s to thousands) of surf clams washing up alive and dead on Rhode Island's beaches.

Washups like this are not uncommon after strong winter storms. Monday's storm featured intense rains and wind, and was almost certainly the culprit in the clam kill this time.

I have read accounts of people catching codfish from the beaches in winter using clams after similar events. I don't know if anyone has tried that recently, as cod populations have declined and moved further offshore.

Unlike the massive washups that followed the 1996 North Cape Oil Spill, we do not suspect pollution in this case. Still, it is interesting to note. -JT