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Hard Clam

Duane Raver, Jr.
Open Year-Round

A fishing license is required to harvest clams in waters of the State of Delaware.
Size Limit
1½ inch minimum
Daily Limit / Person

Delaware Range
Inland Bays
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.
General Description
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.