How to find geoducks

Check the tide: Geoducks can usually start to be found at tidal depths of -2.0 and lower. -2.0 should be considered the minimum required. Finding and digging geoducks can take a considerable amount of time. A more practical outing for geoducks will be on days where the tide is -3.0 and lower as you will have more time to look for and dig geoducks before the tide returns. The digging calendar starts rating geoduck tides at -2.0 and lower for this reason.

Use a map: The WDFW maintains a map of commercial geoduck beds in Puget Sound. A good place to start would be to find public access in areas near a known commercial bed.

Look for the substrate: Geoducks generally prefer soft sand and mud on a gentle grade. They are often associated with eelgrass.

Soft sand mixed with eelgrass is prime geoduck habitat

Look for “shows”, squirts and other geoducks: Geoduck shows come in many varieties. Sometimes you will see only a large hole in the sand. Sometimes the neck may be just beneath the surface. Sometimes the neck may be partially above the surface. Sometimes the neck may extend a considerable distance above the surface. Also be on the lookout for large volume squirts that extend above the ground a few feet – these are often from geoducks. If you find one geoduck pay particular attention to the immediate area as they can be found in groups together.

A hole left from a retreating geoduck neck

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A geoduck neck just below the surface

Sometimes the neck will stick out above the surface a little

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sometimes the neck will stick up above the surface quite a bit

Geoducks can often be found in groups together

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Keep looking: If you are having a hard time finding geoducks you may have to pay special attention to any suspicious looking deppresion in the sand. Keep a sharp lookout in and among seaweed and eelgrass as the neck may be hidden in these areas. Sometimes it helps to step back and look at the big picture – use your eyes to scan large sections of the beach for high volume squirts.

Keeping a sharp lookout among seaweed and eelgrass can pay off