Can you eat fresh water clams?

Discussion in 'General Bushcraft Discussion' started by Survive, Jul 22, 2012.

  1. Survive

    Survive Scout

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    Hi There,

    Just been visiting friends who live near a lake and there are tons of fresh water clams in it. Was wondering if these would be a viable food source?

    Does any one know?
     
  2. Shnick

    Shnick Bushwhacker Bushclass II

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    A bit chewy, not like salt water clams and oysters.
    Best advice is to make sure the water is crystal clear and no toxins, as they can build up in the tissue.

    Short answer, Yes, but not a good idea nor tasty.
     
  3. borumas

    borumas Guide Bushclass I

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    Well I don't know for sure but if the water is clean I imagine they would be fine to eat, seem to remember as a kid my dad and I gathered some freshwater clams and we ate them but that was about 30 years ago. The water where we gathered them had a well pumping water straight from an aquifer into the creek so we knew that area was nice and clean (was a swimming hole as well).
     
  4. nothinghead

    nothinghead Guide Bushclass I

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    I have, but I did not like them at all. They didn't taste good, even with butter or salt added. Didn't get sick, though it is possible.
     
  5. fire65

    fire65 Supporter Supporter

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    YES, if they are closed, BUT they will taste like crap. BUT who cares if you are starving.
     
  6. Moe M.

    Moe M. Supporter Supporter

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    Like Mick Dundee said in the first movie "You can live off them, but they taste like $hit.

    Like others have said, it mostly depends on the quality of the water they live in.
     
  7. uscgboatie

    uscgboatie Scout

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    Do they suffer from the same Red Tide type poison that the salt water ones do?
     
  8. MANIMAL

    MANIMAL Guide

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  9. Survive

    Survive Scout

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    Thanks for the feedback. Nice to know that they are edible, but will keep them in the "in case of emergency" list of things to eat.

    Water quality, unfortunately, is always more of an issue these days. The local town council, where my friends live, accepted a sum of money, if they would permit this mine to dump some "waste from Uranium mining" in the local water ways. The locals found out after the fact and were enraged, with good reason.

    So, apart from regular pollution affecting water quality, there are always those who put their pocket books before the environment and the well being of others. It is for this reason that those clams won't be first on my menu list.

    I just wanted to know if they were OK. So thanks!
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2012
  10. x39

    x39 Guide

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    Just remember any bivalve is a filter feeder, so as noted be super cautious about where you gather them.
     
  11. Shnick

    Shnick Bushwhacker Bushclass II

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    Which is probably why they are so plentiful... LOL

    just kidding... But be wary...
     
  12. Zornt

    Zornt Guide

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    Illegal to harvest in Ohio, same with fresh water muscles. Don't know why, just says so in fishing regs..
     
  13. bearhunter2

    bearhunter2 Guest

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    I have ate a few raw. They weren't that good and I absolutely love raw shellfish, sushi, etc. .
    Same with freshwater mussels. Their just not that good, but knock yourself out. Who knows, maybe you'll like them ;)
     
  14. Bush Otter

    Bush Otter Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Illegal to harvest in WV I think it because they can produce pearls and a long time ago they were over harvested , I hear that the game wardens going to round up a gang of coons lol.
     
  15. Cohutta

    Cohutta Guide

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    The Indians did, but they didn't have the pollutants in their water we do.
     
  16. Ed

    Ed Scout

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    I was going to say the exact same thing.

    LOL

    Ed
     
  17. Survive

    Survive Scout

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    That is a good tip. Thanks!
     
  18. TomNickell

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    I think it would be illegal to harvest them in most states. Long ago many were about "fished" out for button making. Different species rely on different fish hosts for part of their life cycle (ever see a fish covered in black spots?). As water quality has degraded some of those fish hosts are found in those waterways rarely if at all. That makes it difficult for them to reproduce and increase their numbers.

    And back to water quality. PCB's, Heavy metals, other industrial wastes and things like blue green algae blooms and E.coli in quieter bodies of water can all contaminate the mussels.

    Myself, I'd stay away from them unless I could find no other food.
     
  19. Northman242

    Northman242 Scout

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    Sure you can eat them. But they taste terrible, even coming from untouched lakes in northern Ontario...

    I prefer to open them and use the soft part as a fishing bait to catch a much better-tasting fish!
     
  20. GoodOlBoy

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    I like my freshwater clams only one way. Dip them in a bit of rancid blood, or stale cornmeal and bait a catfish line with them.....

    GoodOlBoy
     
  21. lepercan

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    If you have time, put them in clean fresh water with cornmeal in it for 3-4 days. This purges most of the mud out of them. Still tough, though, don't overcook them. Cook just 'til the shell opens. You can make a stew/soup with them, but roast/steam first.
     

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