If modern marvels have taught me one thing, it’s that you can sic too much tech on a task, like hydraulic pumps for clam harvesting. These little doohickies do for clamming what old school hydraulics did for gold mining in the California Gold Rush: make the job easier while creating a huge mess.
And speaking of the Golden State, officials there are very concerned that the pumps make the job so easy that they threaten clam populations along state beaches. The pump operates much like its bicycle tire cousin. Only instead of sending air into a flat tire, they liquefy the sediment around a clam, eliminating all of that digging with a little shovel. An adept clam hunter can harvest a day’s limit of ten gaper or butter clams in a few minutes, a fraction of the time it takes with manual digging. Read the rest of the story here.