Washington’s public tidelands provide an array of shellfish to gather including cockle and eastern softshell clams

The Nuttall’s cockle clam also referred to as a “basket or heart cockle” shell has a beautiful strong, rounded, radiating ribs that are longer on the posterior (with the hinge ligament) side. They are typically yellow to brown colored, with a mottled appearance and grow to 5 1/2 inches.

Cockle clams

Eastern softshell clams have an elongated shell that is thin, brittle, and uneven on the outer surface. They grow to 6 inches long and are white or grey colored with dark siphon tips. Eastern softshell clams have a periostracum, which is a thin fibrous layer, around the edge of the shells.

Eastern softshell clams

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The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

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The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is dedicated to preserving, protecting and perpetuating the state’s fish and wildlife resources.