Cold and clammy.
We get a lot of questions from people wanting to know the best secret spots to look for quahogs. The short answer is, "We don't know." And if we did know, we wouldn't be so stupid as to give the secret away. Not only would the secret spots no longer be secret, but we'd have an awful lot of people angry at us. People who own bullrakes and know how to use them.
Instead, we respectfully suggest the mud flats north of the Galilee Escape Road in Narragansett as the best place to try your hand (and toes) at the art of clamming and quahogging. The flats have the positive quality of being easily accessible... and the negative quality of being very popular. Still, with patience and perseverance one or two people can gather enough shelled creatures in an hour to make a nice meal.
A handful of other places were revealed by Rhode Island Monthly in their June 2009 and June 2022 issues, so we don't mind repeating them here: Potter's Cove and Taylor Point in Jamestown; Greenwich Cove at Goddard State Park in Warwick; Colt State Park in Bristol; Seapowett Marsh and Fogland Beach in Tiverton; Calf Pasture Point Beach in North Kingstown; and Trims Pond at the Ocean Avenue Bridge, Block Island (open for public shellfishing during the colder months with a permit).
But before you go, you should look over the information at the following links:
- From Bullrakes to Clambakes: The folklife of the Narragansett Bay quahogging industry, by Michael Bell.
- Rules and Regulations Governing the Taking, Possession, Holding, Bartering, and Trading of Shellfish, (PDF).
- Discovering the Rhode Island Shore.
- Shellfishing Closures.
- Tide charts.
- 41 N magazine, A Day in the Life of a Quahogger by Sarah Schumann, (PDF).
- Quahog and Wampum on Wikipedia.
A Fish Story
Said the Quahaug to the Oyster
In Narragansett Bay,
"Are you now inclined to roister?
Well—roister while ye may!
For the day is swift arriving
When you'll land within a stew—"
"You mean," snapped back the oyster,
"'Tis the chowder pot for you!"