Clams are bivalved mollusks that can live up to 35 years and grow up to five inches in diameter; however, most NC clams are harvested when they are two years old at the minimum harvest size of one inch in diameter.
The status of the clam fishery in NC is "Unknown". Landings have remained fairly steady over the years, but it is felt increased fishing pressure, poor water quality, and habitat loss have impacted this fishery. More detailed studies need to be conducted to accurately determine the status of the hard clam.
Clams are harvested with rakes or by hand in intertidal areas and shallow water along much of coastal NC. They are also caught with tongs and bull rakes in deeper water and by dredges and "kick boats" in Onslow and Carteret counties.
For more information on Stock Status and what it means for shellfish and other fisheries in North Caroline, view the annual Stock Status Report.
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