Shellfish Monitoring and Assessment Program

Commercial Clams in Maryland's Chesapeake Bay


There are three clam species in the Maryland portion of the Chesapeake Bay that are or have been of commercial importance: the softshell clam, Mya arenaria, the stout razor clam, Tagelus plebeius, and the hard clam, Mercenaria mercenaria. Another species found in Bay waters, the wedge clam, Rangia cuneata, has potential for commercial exploitation.

In this section, the focus is on softshell and stout razor clams. A brief description of the hard clam fishery in Maryland's portion of the Chesapeake Bay is also included here. A complete description of hard clam life history and populations will be included in a future Shellfish Program Monitoring webpage that will focus on shellfish in Maryland's coastal bays. The wedge clam will be added to this section if and when it enters the commercial fishery.

Softshell clam, Mya arenaria

soft clam

Stout razor clam, Tagelus plebeius

razor clam

Hard clam, Mercenaria mercenaria

hard clam