Clam, Hard – U.S. Atlantic (MA, RI, NY, NC)
The Hard Clam (also known as Northern Quahog) is found in the Western Atlantic from the Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence to Florida, as well as in the Gulf of Mexico as far south as the Yucatan Peninsula. The hard clam begins life as male and changes to female as it grows, typically living for around 8 years. In the U.S, commercial fishing for Hard Clams primarily occurs between Cape Cod, Massachusetts and North Carolina. Either individual states, municipalities, or a combination of both set regulations for fishing.
Current abundance of this species is unknown. Fishermen use hand-held tools including rakes and shovels to capture clams. These fishing
gears result in minimal bycatch, but cause low damage to bottom habitats.
Note: Usually referred to by size classification (from smallest to largest): Button, Littleneck, Topneck, Cherrystone, and Chowder