Adam Rosen and his 8-year-old daughter, Naomi, waded ashore at Sasco Beach carrying a blue net bag filled with clams.
"This was our first time ever," Rosen said after taking part in the Shellfish Commission's clam clinic Saturday. "It was a blast."
About 40 people showed up for the clinic, despite the possibility it might be cancelled because of the morning rain. There was a rain date scheduled Sunday, but commission member Ricky Ferrari said officials were concerned if it rained too much Saturday, the clam beds would have to be closed Sunday.
The clinic was free, and participants didn't need to have a shellfishing permit, although Ferrari said paperwork was available to apply for a permit should any of the newbie clammers want to continue clamming in the future.
"The best reason for the clinic is that shellfishing has been an older generational thing," Ferrari said. "One of our goals is to get children and younger folks involved."
About 60 people participated in last year's clinic, commission member Sandy Wakeman said.
"A lot of people don't know there are clams out there," Wakeman said. Clamming is an easy skill to pick up, he said, but that doesn't mean clamming is easy. "You're going to feel it the next day."
Rosen said his family loves Sasco Beach, and they didn't know anything about clamming. Once out in the water, other commission members helped the novice clammers fill their bags or buckets. "We were out there a long time," he said, adding Naomi was "real trouper."
For her part, Naomi said, "It was hard."
Sue Cart also turned out for the clinic, but it wasn't a new experience for her. "We used to do this years ago with my dad off our boat," she said. After reading about the clinic, she said the whole family decided to come down to Sasco. "They loved it," she said.
For information about the town's shellfish permits, call the Conservation Department at 203-256-3071 or visit the town website, www.fairfieldct.org.