Clamming on the Kenai is mostly for Razor clams, a thinly shelled clam that if you
dig wrong you will find out why it is called a Razor Clam. Nicks and cuts are the norm when handling clam shells that are broken. Also available are Red Clams though they are not large in numbers and there is also no limit
to the number of Red Clams you can take, at this writing. (Always check regulations as articles on the net can be old and out of date..This article is being written in November of 2008 for future reference)
The best areas for clamming are between the Kasilof River on the North and the Anchor river to the south. This is approximately a 50 mile area. It is often divided in the literature about clamming into
North and South Beach Areas. The North Beaches are near Coho, Clam Gulch, Oil Pad Access and the Southern beach areas are comprised of the beaches around Ninilchik, Deep Creek, Happy Valley and Whiskey Gulch.
Clam Gulch is a very popular area, but due to lots of clam diggers and a poor hatch a few years back the quality and size of clams at Clam Gulch has suffered. The good news is that Alaska Wildlife
says that there are plenty of small clams which means that in another year or 2 the clamming at Clam Gulch will be much better and that recent spawns have been good. Suitable clam tides are the ones showing a minus tide. This
means that more of the beach is open for clamming and that clams that are exposed are relatively untouched by predators or other clammers on tides that are shallower.
Razor Clam digging is legal year
round, but the best times for "Table Quality" of the razor clam is generally considered best in early summer, just prior to the July - August Spawn.Tides of -2.0 or lower are suggested for the best
results. Tides must be progressively lower on the southern beaches due to the steeper grade. Tides should be -3.0 or lower in the Ninilchik and Deep Creek areas with -4.0 feet or lower recommended for Whiskey Gulch.
Digging is best an hour before or two hours after low tide.
The Southern Beaches are limited to access by high bluffs, and they have a steeper grade than do the Northern Beaches. This
limits the time available to a digger.
The best razor clam digging at Deep Creek starts about a mile south of where the creek joins the bay. There is public parking, here and in the Ninilchik
area as well. A 4 Wheel drive vehicle is almost a must for this activity in some areas. The beaches are accessible but can become quite hard to navigate without the extra drive. Walking is an option in most places but others
are a long mile or 2 walk and trust me after a day of digging clams, that mile or so walk seems a LOT longer