Bean Clams - Donax gouldii

Bean Clams in abundance

This photograph was found here by one of the foremost experts on marine invertebrates, Danielle Zacherl of California State University, Fullerton. She told me that this species occurs at this density only once a decade on a given beach, in an event known as a resurgence. A resurgence in 1938 made a clam broth industry briefly viable.

I was happy that the 2004 event occurred on the stretch of coastline in North Orange County where I surf the most. The clams felt like pebbles in shallow water; they tumbled over my feet with each surge of a wave. Now they are gone and I miss them.

Donax gouldii. Bolsa Chica State Beach, California. November 2004.