CLAM GATHERING—DESCRIPTION OF
CLAM GATHERING—DESCRIPTION OF—Please describe the methods of gathering clams, used by pearlers.
In shallow water the shell gatherer wades the stream and picks the mussels from the bottom, throwing them into a boat which he leads along by his side, and when he gets a load he rows ashore. For deep water there are a number of rigs used. A pair of rakes made for the use are sometimes hinged together like a pair of tongs and are used as such to gather the mussels from the deep water. These are made just like a pair of garden rakes except that the teeth do not stand at a right angle to the handle as on a real rake, but point downward somewhat when the tongs are closed. Then there are drags, used from s moving boat. They are made of two pieces of gas pipe, about twelve feet long, on which hauling lines are fastened, one at each end, by driving pieces of wood into the pipes and tying the lines to the wooden ends. All along the pipe at intervals arc lines about three feet long, and on each line are some three or four heavy wire treble hooks. One such drag is attached to each side of the host by hauling lines long enough to let them drag on the bed of the stream. On each side and at each end of the host three foot boards are set up right and these are notched on top to hold the drags when not in use, sand when removing the mussels from the hooks. Only one drag is put out at a time, and as the hooks drag over the open mussels the latter close on them. When the drag appears to be loaded it hauled in and the gas pipe rod is placed in the notches of the upright boards at the sides of the boat. The other drag is then let out and the pearler remove the shells from the loaded drag. When through, he lowers this drag and lifts the other one.
Harding, A.R.. 3001 Questions and Answers. Columbus, Oh: A.R. Harding, 1913.
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