Field Notes from Jess ~ Rewilding in 2022 | Week 20/52 Part 1 | SpringMay 15, 2022
Field Notes from Jess: Rewilding 2022 Week 20/52
Mussels, Acorn and Goosneck Barnicles
With instructor John Nicholas Kallas with Wild Food Adventures
Wild food upgrade to my diet on the Oregon Coast with a group of eager students who arrived at 5:30 am at low tide, with buckets and rain gear to join instructor John Kallas for a workshop on harvesting mussels and barnacles.
Acorn barnicles look like little volcanoes, you don't see them in restaurants because as John described they grow on ships and are seen as pests, but they are excellent food! You can't take these directly from the rocks as they would break and the meat would be lost, but you can harvest mussels that have these barnacles attached. The popular Gooseneck barnicles also attach to the mussels and I'm amazed at these creatures bizarre beauty.
The large mussels I harvested attached to the upper half of the rocks as they move upward away from the predatory starfish. You'll see the "beard" of the mussel in one of the photos that is used to attach to the rocks. It took an incredible amount of effort to detach them. All of these sea creatures can be eaten raw if your ambitions as the salt protects us from the bacteria. I took the path however of bringing them home where they were boiled and the sand removed.
It's great to have friends who love to explore new dishes. My neighbor David Fairley made the most delicious seafood linguine with a white wine sauce using my adventurous wild food score. Delicious!
Washington regs for Gooseneck Barnacles:
No min. size. Daily limit 10 lbs. whole or 5 lbs. barnacle stalks.
Washington regs for Mussels:
No min. size. Daily limit 10 lbs. in shell.
for info and to purchase a shellfish license, learn safety considerations and regulations. You must coordinate your hunt with the tides!
Check out IWader if you like my beautiful green waders. Perfect attire for going hip deep in the water.