(a)  It is unlawful to take, land, or possess aboard a vessel more than 6,250 hard clams per fishing operation from public bottom in internal waters.  It is unlawful to take, possess, sell, or purchase any clams (except Rangia or freshwater clams) less than one inch thick except in accordance with 15A NCAC 3K .0305(b).  Clams shall be culled where harvested and all clams of less than legal size with their shell, shall be immediately returned to the bottom from which taken.  Agents of the Fisheries Director are authorized and empowered to grade all, or any portion, or any combination of portions of the entire quantity of clams being graded and may seize and return to public bottom or other disposition as authorized by law of the entire quantity being graded or any portion thereof.

(b)  Size and harvest limits established in Paragraph (a) of this Rule and the season and area limitations established in 15A NCAC 3K .0302 may not apply:

(1)           For temporary openings made upon the recommendation of Division of Environmental Health,

(2)           For maintenance dredging operations, or

(3)           For relaying of polluted clams to private shellfish bottoms as permitted by 15A NCAC 3K .0104.


History Note:        Authority G.S. 113‑134; 113‑182; 113‑221; 143B‑289.52;

Eff. January 1, 1991;

Amended Eff. March 1, 1994.