A fishing license is required to harvest clams in waters of the State of Delaware.
1½ inch minimum
Daily Limit / Person
Abundance in Delaware Waters
General Habitat and Food Preferences
Hard Clams prefer sandy bottoms where they stay buried 1 to 2 inches in the sand.
They are filter feeders, using a siphon to strain microscopic plants (algae) from the water while buried in the bottom.
Hard Clams have a rough heavy, thick and strong shell that is a gray, tipped with brown or tan colors.
The inside of the shell is smooth and white, usually with a purple mark.
Did You Know?
Each size class of the Hard Clam has its own nickname: • "Buttons" are less than 1½ inches • "Littlenecks" are 1⅞ to 2⅛ inches • "Topnecks" are 2⅛ to 2 ⅜ inches • "Cherrystones" are 2 ⅜ to 3 ⅛ inches • "Chowders" are greater than 3 ⅛ inches.
Common Fishing Lures and Baits
Hard Clams are recreationally harvested in the Inland Bays by raking the bottom with a clam rake or feeling for the clams with a foot.
Typical Sizes Caught
Hard Clams harvested by Delaware fishermen are generally in the 2 to 5 inch range.
Citation Minimum Lengths/Weights
Hard Clams are not currently eligible for an individual Delaware Sport Fishing Tournament citation.
Delaware State Record
Hard Clams are not currently eligible for an individual Delaware record.